UK research shows young male drivers pose safety risk

UK research shows young male drivers pose safety risk

New research form the United Kingdom proposes that male drivers pose more safety risk than their female counterparts. This has been deduced from the number of 'points' on male drivers' licenses than females and reflects international knowledge that male drivers take more risk and pose a more danger on the roads all around the world.


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First published at World Highways

Research from the UK reveals an alarming picture of road safety amongst young male drivers. This data is likely to be replicated in other European drivers as well as further afield. According to the UK’s Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), some 30,850 male drivers aged 17-20 have up to six points on their driving licences. However, only 9,758 female drivers aged 17-20 have up to six points on their licences.

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In the UK, these types of points don't lead to an award, they lead to bans and higher premiums.

Drivers are awarded points for motoring offences in the UK, with more serious offences resulting in a greater number of points. When a driver exceeds 12 points (such as being caught over the limit for alcohol or for exceeding a posted speed limit by more than 50km/h), this will usually result in a driving ban. During 2012, young drivers were involved in 20% of all crashes resulting in either a fatality or a serious injury. However younger drivers only account for a mere 8% of full driving licence holders in the UK and only drive on average, around half the distance of older licence holders/year.

The chief executive of the Institute of Advanced Motorists is Simon Best and he said, “Such high numbers committing a wide range of offences demonstrates the inability of our current system to deal with the attitudes and lack of experience which put new drivers at such high risk on the roads today.” Best added that the UK Government is at present working on a new policy to help tackle the issue.

The statistics surrounding the number of crashes involving young male drivers are particularly alarming when it is considered that fewer young people are now driving than in previous decades. Insurance companies have increased the cost of premiums for young drivers significantly, in line with the high crash risk and this has priced many young people off the road. Instead many younger people opt not to take a driving test until age 25 or older when insurance costs drop.

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The Youth and Road and Safety Action Kit explores why young people are particular risk on the road, especially young males.

Why are young people at increased risk?

Three main factors come together to put youth at more risk of road traffic crashes worldwide: age, inexperience, and gender. This is in addition to factors that put all age groups at greater risk, including lack of laws for road safety, insufficient law enforcement, and worn out roads and vehicles.

Environmental context
For example:

  • Roads that do not cater to the needs of all road users such as pedestrians and children
  • Pedestrians and cyclists sharing the road with motorized traffic
  • Insufficient enforcement of safety laws


Young people:

  • Are less able to assess risk
  • Test their boundaries
  • Overestimate their abilities
  • Have high levels of sensation seeking behaviour - Are influenced by their peers


  • Males are more inclined to risk-taking and sensation seeking behaviour.
  • They are more likely to overestimate their abilities.


New drivers need to think about their driving actions, which can cause mental overload and distraction.
They are less able to perceive hazards, control the vehicle, or make decisions

So what can be done to combat this? Targeted campaigns is one step forward...

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Read more in the Youth and Road Safety Action Kit



Original Article