SERP stats confirm extent of young driver collision and casualty risk


Young drivers in Essex, Southend on Sea and Thurrock are much more likely to cause collisions than other drivers, and when they do the consequences are more likely to be severe.

These are two of the stand out facts to emerge from recent data published by SERP, which shows that during 2014, 1,086 drivers aged 17-25 years were involved in collisions that resulted in injury, including 135 in collisions that were serious or fatal (KSI collisions).

Will Cubbin, SERP’s Road Safety Strategy Analyst, said: “Young drivers in our area have an approximately four times higher risk of being involved in a collision than other car drivers (aged 26yrs+). In 2014, young drivers were involved in 2.9 collisions per million miles, compared with 0.7 for other drivers.

“Young drivers are also approximately five times more likely to be the ‘primary contributor*’ to a collision than other drivers; last year they made 1.6 primary collision contributions per million miles driven, compared to 0.3 for other drivers.

“And in collisions where a young driver is primarily at fault, injuries suffered by car occupants are 20% more likely to be serious or fatal – when young drivers cause collisions, they are more likely to be serious.”

The young driver casualty problem is not confined to the SERP area. A recent study of young driver crash rates across Great Britain, carried out by Dr Sarah Jones from Public Health Wales, showed a crash rate of 16.2 per 1,000 drivers aged 17-19yrs, compared with 3.6 per 1,000 for all other drivers. The report concluded that while young driver crash rates are declining “urgent action is needed if the burden of road traffic crashes, injuries and deaths on health and health services is to be reduced”.

SERP stats show that young drivers are also more likely to commit driving offences than their older counterparts.

When it comes to being caught on camera (speed and red-light) young drivers clock up 7.7 offences per million miles compared to 5.0 for other drivers, which equates to a 1.5 times greater risk.

And with regard to other driving offences such as careless driving, mobile phone and seatbelt offences, young drivers commit 2.12 offences per million miles, compared to 0.64 for other drivers (3.3 times greater risk).

SERP has a range of campaigns, training opportunities and other initiatives designed to reduce the risks faced by young drivers. These include The Honest Truth partnership and Roadster events.

Most collisions involve multiple contributory factors from one or more of the parties involved in the collision. Identifying the primary contributor is a way of simplifying who was likely to be most at fault for the collision.

9 September 2015

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