Change driving test to reduce road deaths, insurers warn

Driving test

Following the 80th anniversary of the driving test this week, insurers are calling for the test to be modernised in an effort to reduce deaths and injuries on the road.

As part of its Safe Young Drivers Campaign, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is calling for: a one-year minimum learning period (starting from 16 and a half); limits on the number of passengers allowed in the cars of young drivers; and zero-tolerance on alcohol. It would also like to see restrictions for young people driving between 11pm and 4am.

Better training

Commenting on the campaign, James Dalton, director of general insurance policy at the ABI, said: "Car crashes remain the biggest cause of accidental death among young people and more than 20% of all road deaths can be traced back to young drivers.

"Passing your test is only the start of becoming a safe driver. Better driver training would reduce collisions, bring down motor premiums and, most importantly, save hundreds of lives."

Adopting the changes would bring the UK in line with other countries including the USA, Australia and New Zealand, where graduated licensing has been shown to reduce the number of accidents.

In Canada, for example, a study showed that the changes brought about a 31% reduction in crashes among 16-19-year-old drivers, rising to 42% among drivers aged between 20 and 24.

According to the independent motoring charity, the RAC Foundation, in 2013 (the last year for which figures are available) 2,144 passengers were killed or injured in cars that were being driven by teen drivers. It also claims that one in five young drivers will have an accident within six months of passing their test.


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Anything that would reduce the carnage on our roads must be a good idea! It might also help to reduce the huge insurance premiums that young people have to pay, which is so unfair to those who are prepared to drive sensibly but have to share the penalty against those who are not.