autoevolution
 

British Motorists Support Raising Minimum Driving Age to 18, Safety Reasons Involved

It’s pretty tough being a new driver on the road. You’ve just passed your exam - and god only knows how hard that was, not because you don’t know how to drive, but because you were nervous as hell - and now you’re driving dad’s car on the streets for the first time with sweaty palms and your dad on the passenger’s seat. If you could see, you’d notice his palms are just as sweaty.
London Traffic 1 photo
But don’t expect any clemency from other drivers. Oh, no, it’s actually quite the opposite.

According to a new study from SmartWitness, a road safety company making Britain's most popular dash-cam, six out of ten motorists support raising the minimum age for owning a driving license to 18.

This comes at the back of some pretty dire numbers regarding traffic-related deaths and injuries involving young drivers aged between 17 and 19. Paul Singh, CEO of SmartWitness, said that “it is a sad fact that young motorists drive around 5% of all the miles driven in Britain but are involved in about 20% of the crashes where someone is killed or seriously injured.”

It’s unclear whether the rest of the motorists are aware of these statistics or not, but SmartWitness’ study (conducted on 1,000 drivers) shows that their vast majority thinks that younger drivers should face tougher penalties. For example, 76 percent of them support the introduction of 12-month probationary licenses for all teenagers who have passed their tests. Another 62% agree that these drivers should get special plates featuring a P - for probationary - to warn other road users. An even greater percent - 72% - think that any teenager caught speeding should face an immediate road ban.

The British Department of Transport shows that 11.9% of all road casualties are hurt or killed in accidents involving cars driven by teenagers between 17 and 19, even though they make for only 1.5 percent of all drivers. Expanding the interval from 17 to 24, the percentage of accidents they’re to blame for rises to 20%.

The UK is one of the few European countries that have a minimum driving age below 18, and road accidents remain the most important cause of death in the country, above alcohol and drugs. Whether these measures listed above would do anything to help the situation is hard to tell, but everybody agrees something has to be done.

In SmartWitness’ case, that something means continuing to sell their products so that parents can review their kids’ driving style and correct them where necessary.

However, it would be interesting to see the results of a similar study conducted in the US.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories