New research by the Association of British Insurers shows that 55 percent of young drivers are distracted while driving if they are carrying passengers, 45 percent by the scenery and 44 percent by the radio — while around a quarter say they find it acceptable to speed at night (24 percent) or on country roads (26 percent).
"Many young drivers who are not yet experienced behind the wheel find it hard to concentrate when driving, let alone during bad weather. Driving distractions and dangers come thick and fast," says ABI's James Dalton.
Here are top tips for parents of young drivers (under the age of 25). Advise your son or daughter to:
- Plan a route if possible that avoids dark, winding country roads, where there is a higher chance of an accident. A quarter of young drivers think it is acceptable to speed on a country road, however, young drivers driving on rural roads are 37 percent more likely to be involved in a crash compared to young drivers driving in urban areas.
- Think about whether they need to drive their friends at night. Over half of all young drivers admit to being distracted when they have friends in the car. If they are driving friends at night this could lead to further distractions, especially if it is dark and on unfamiliar roads. Is there any other option for them to get home, such as chipping in for a taxi or a parent picking them up? Studies from the US show that a young driver is three times more likely to be killed in a crash if carrying three or more passengers.
- Turn the stereo off, especially if they are driving with friends in the car, at night or in bad weather conditions when they need to concentrate more. ABI esearch has found that nearly half (44 percent) of young drivers have been distracted by music.
- Never drink and drive. The highest proportion of breath test failures following accidents involving casualties occurred with drivers aged under 25.
- Don't use a cellphone to call, SMS, or use apps. ABI research shows that nearly a third of young drivers were distracted by their cellphones while driving. Despite the fact that using a hand-held mobile phone is illegal.
- Don't speed. Slow down.
Of course, plenty of this applies to drivers of all ages.
Have you got any top tips to add? Leave a comment below...