‘First year as car driver importance’: motoring body

Picture posed by models: The IAM has focused on accidents involving young drivers
Picture posed by models: The IAM has focused on accidents involving young drivers

The Institute of Advanced Motorists has highlighted the need to reduce road accidents involving young people.

The IAM has said it will continue to work with the Government to introduce a new system of post-test driver training to reduce the rate of serious road accidents involving young people.

In 2009 young car drivers accounted for 27 per cent of all car driver fatalities, and 2,026 young car drivers were killed or seriously injured. And with driver and rider error behind the top three causes of fatal and serious crashes, the message is clear – young drivers need more experience and training.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “The government is right to prioritise saving young drivers’ lives in its new ten-year road safety strategy.Having analysed systems of post-test training from other countries, we know that the best examples have reduced young male deaths by almost 30 per cent*.

The IAM wants to see accredited training offered to young drivers in the first 12 to 18 months after passing the basic driving test.

This would include: training by qualified instructors; an initial on-road assessment to gain knowledge of their experience and to highlight any deficiencies; off-road practice in handling in the wet, speed into corners and the impact of speed on stopping distances; benefits such as cheaper insurance for young drivers who complete the training.

Best said: “The first year as a car driver is important for building up the driving experience necessary to reduce the risk of crashes. Post-test training with in-depth coaching on driving techniques, and extra hours behind the wheel – with an experienced instructor – will prevent accidents. We offer our full support to the government to develop life-saving training for young drivers.”