Insurers want young drivers to learn for a year
4 October 2012
People should undertake at least a year’s worth of driving lessons before acquiring their license, insurers have said.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says that drivers between the ages of 17 and 21 are responsible for a disproportionate number of accidents, deaths and insurance claims and that the system should be overhauled in order to halt the ‘tragic waste’ of young lives on our roads.
In addition to the lengthened period of learning, the organisation also recommended in its report that restrictions be placed on newly-qualified drivers’ night-time driving and that a reduced drink-driving limit should be imposed upon them.
This graduated licensing system would see the impositions lifted after the driver had been qualified for a period of 6 months.
According to the report an 18-year-old is more than three times as likely to be involved in a crash as a 48-year-old. A third of drivers killed in crashes were under 25, despite this age group only accounting for an eighth of all car drivers.
The report included research into other countries, where the adoption of graduated licensing had diminished the number of car crashes involving young people.
Director general of the ABI Otto Thoresen said: "Radical action is needed to reduce the tragic waste of young lives on our roads."
"A car is potentially a lethal weapon, and we must do more to help young drivers better deal with the dangers of driving. Improving the safety of young drivers will also mean they will face lower motor insurance costs.
"We have all sidestepped this issue for too long. Northern Ireland is introducing reforms, and politicians in Westminster should follow their lead in introducing meaningful reform to help today's young drivers become tomorrow's safer motorists."
Car insurance premiums have been rising steeply for young drivers in recent times, with the AA reporting a 40% increase for male drivers between the ages of 17 and 22 in the last two years, compared to a mere 6% rise for men aged 40-49.