The fast and the curious: The IAM and young drivers

Research report posted on 16/03/15 |
Younger Drivers

The over-representation of young drivers in road accidents is well known and widely reported. Thirty per cent of car occupant fatalities are drivers aged 17-24, or passengers of a driver aged 17-24. Yet this group only forms eight per cent of all licence holders.

As the UK's largest independent road safety charity the IAM is committed to reducing accidents involving young drivers. By offering advanced training, assessments and advice we improve drivers' skills and awareness. We also highlight trends and issues relating to young drivers through our policy and research division.

Key results are shown here to give an indication of the types of questions asked and the nature of the responses:

  • 74.4 per cent of novice drivers said that they would definitely take further training if it saved them money on their car insurance.
  • Only 52.3 per cent of recently passed drivers reported positively on feeling fully prepared for driving on their own.
  • 61.5 per cent of male respondents said they were more skilful than the average driver, compared to only 32.2 per cent of females.
  • 51 per cent disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement 'I think I know exactly how much I can drink and still be under the limit'. Women were slightly more likely to be unsure (54 per cent of females, 48.2 per cent of males).

Young male drivers are more than twice as likely to be killed or seriously injured than young female drivers, making them a key target for advanced training. Car use and experience of driving 37 per cent of respondents with regular access to a car agreed or strongly agreed that they couldn't manage without one. Young novice drivers were more likely to disagree with the statement 'I would like to own a faster or larger car'; 45 per cent disagreeing compared to 37 per cent agreeing. 47.4 per cent of young drivers disagreed with the statement 'It's ok to drive faster than the speed limit as long as you are being careful'. Over 50 per cent of young drivers admitted to sometimes failing to notice pedestrians, crossing a junction when the lights have already turned, and sometimes having no clear recollection of the road they had been traveling down.

Supporting media

  • brochure
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