Quarter of those killed or seriously hurt are aged 24 or under says Furley Page
For most of us, summer means sunshine, barbecues and enjoying the great outdoors – but according to the Department for Transport, it’s also the most common time of year for accidents involving young drivers.
With the warmer months just around the corner, one Kent lawyer says more needs to be done to improve the safety of the UK’s ‘most vulnerable road users’.
“Hundreds of 17- to 24-year-olds are killed or seriously injured on our roads each year and are more likely to be involved in road accidents than experienced drivers,” says Neille Ryan, a personal injury specialist at leading Kent law firm Furley Page.
“Of all the drivers killed or seriously injured on the road, 25% are aged 24 or under even though they account for only 8% of licence holders. Shockingly, it’s estimated that one in five young drivers will have an accident within the first six months of passing their driving test,” says Neille, who has recently been promoted to Head of Furley Page’s highly-regarded Personal Injury Team.
Now Neille is urging people to get behind the RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Young Drivers Campaign and help the family safety charity to reduce the number of young casualties.
“According to RoSPA, 131 young drivers were killed on the roads in 2013 while 1,159 were left with serious injuries,” says Neille. “But while the charity has been instrumental in contributing to the formation of road safety policies at a national level – for example, helping to bring about compulsory seatbelts – it can’t succeed without support, including fundraising.
“With the right support, RoSPA can provide resources to save lives, information and advice to prevent accidents, lobby for legislative change and develop practical assessments and training courses for young drivers.”
Compared to more experienced motorists, young drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents at high speed, in the dark, when overtaking and when negotiating bends, says the charity, which cites lack of experience, being over confident, taking more risks and responding to peer pressure as some of the reasons.
Young drivers are also poor at identifying potential hazards and assessing risks and tend to overestimate their ability to avoid hazards and accidents, RoSPA adds.
“Before the General Election, RoSPA led the call for all major political parties to commit to the safety of young drivers in their election manifestos,” says Neille.
“The organisation lobbied every party to agree to a Green Paper on young drivers in a bid to prevent hundreds of deaths and serious injuries every year by considering a range of potentially life-saving options, such as graduated driver licensing.
“Let’s hope that David Cameron’s newly-elected Government will now support RoSPA’s calls for a more radical approach to cutting the number of crashes involving young drivers.”
Neille Ryan has a wealth of experience in dealing with personal injury compensation claims, including road traffic accidents, and is a Top Ranked Leading Individual in his field in the independent legal guide Chambers UK. If you would like further advice about injury claims call Neille Ryan on 01227 763939.
For further information about the RoSPA Young Drivers Campaign visit RoSPA's website:
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