Young drivers not learning to avoid crashes with vulnerable road users quick enough - IAM RoadSmart report finds

10/01/18

A new report by the UK’s leading road safety charity IAM RoadSmart and TRL into crashes involving young drivers has concluded that they need to learn quicker how to avoid crashes with the most vulnerable users on our roads.

The report found that while they learn much quicker than expected to avoid single vehicle loss of control collisions, they learn a lot slower how to deal with vulnerable road users, be safe on the motorway and safely complete low speed manoeuvres. 

IAM RoadSmart said these findings proved a surprise, as the classic young driver crash usually involves going too fast on a country road. It would seem that new drivers themselves soon pick up the skills to stay safe on our highest risk roads.

The report, titled Young Novice Driver Collision Types, makes several key recommendations to improve new driver training particularly in hazard perception around vulnerable road users and around other vehicles.

The report underlines the critical importance of gaining driving experience in a wide variety of traffic situations. In their first year on the road experts suggest an average 17-year-old driver can expect their risk of being involved in a crash to reduce by 36% as a result of driving experience, but only by 6% owing to ageing and maturity. 

This report set out to try and identify which aspects of driving are learned quickest and which take more time. Targeting those skills that they struggle to take in could bring the largest benefits to road safety for new drivers.

Some positive news is that analysis of collision trends suggests a substantial reduction in crashes overall for the two youngest age groups between 2002 and 2015. The accident rate for 17-20 year old car drivers reduced by 49% in this time, while the rate for 21-29 year olds reduced by 33%.

Existing research found the following factors led to a higher rate of crashes amongst younger people:

  • Inexperience and poor judgement in more difficult driving conditions (poor weather, poor visibility, minor rural roads)
  • Inadequate control of the car (single vehicle accidents, skidding, overturning, leaving the road)
  • Lifestyle factors (social driving particularly at night and at weekends, when factors such as alcohol and peer pressure affect where and how young people drive)
  • Economic factors which result in young drivers being more likely to have cheaper older cars which offer them less protection from injury than newer cars would do

The report also concluded:

  • Travel behaviour has changed with 17-20 year olds driving less and walking or cycling more
  • Those aged 21-29 years travel further than 17-20 year olds each year, with largely employment related journeys
  • The collision rate for drivers aged 17-20 years declined more quickly than the rate for 21-29 year olds between 2002 and 2015
  • Compared with the overall rate of learning, young drivers learn more quickly to avoid crashes involving a single vehicle, loss of control, on a B roads, at night or where the vehicle leaves the carriageway
  • Possibly related to these crash types, young drivers also learn more rapidly to avoid contributory factors such as speeding, driving too fast for the conditions, swerving, loss of control, inexperienced and anxious
  • The trend for crashes on motorways is unique and initially increases before

    demonstrating a possible delayed learning curve. Results also suggest that learning to safely use slip roads take longer than the general learning rate

  • New drivers also appear to be slow at learning to avoid collisions in certain conflict scenarios in slow manoeuvring situations and with vulnerable road users. This might be indicative of poor hazard perception skills

    And it recommended the following actions:

  • Further research to understand why novice drivers are involved in and learn quickly to avoid single vehicle loss of control type crashes. This can inform the development of targeted interventions and possible training.
  • Consider options for reducing young driver crashes at night (e.g.additional experience gained during the learner phase)
  • The government’s plans to allow learners on motorways are fully justified by the report as it is clear new drivers are likely to benefit from practice on motorways. .
  • Explore the role that advanced hazard perception training might offer in reducing the threat young drivers pose to Vulnerable Road Users.
  • Explore the apparent trend of young drivers’ vehicles being more likely to be hit from the rear. There may be practical, hazard perception or anticipation training that could be of benefit.

Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart Chief Executive Officer, said: “It is really useful to learn more about how young drivers are gaining the experience they need to have a safe driving career.

“However, analysing the results, it is vital that government, road safety bodies and the driver instruction industry work together to generate new strategies to target those skills that are not being learned at the fastest rate.

“It also shows that in the formative years of driving, there is clearly a need for post-test training to continue, to build experience that can reduce the number of needless tragedies on our roads.”

 
 

 

 

Higher education begins as you leave: tips from IAM RoadSmart 

13/09/2017

Fresher’s week will start soon in
full force; for many students they will be making their way off to
university for the first time. For many this trip will be the furthest
they have driven, and in an area they are not yet familiar with. This
week’s tips give advice to students packing their bags for the big drive
or ride to university from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding
standards, Richard Gladman.

Make sure you are covered. It
goes without saying you should always ensure you have the correct level
of insurance and breakdown cover. Tell your insurer about any change of
address or you could invalidate your cover. If you are planning to buy a
vehicle to travel up to your university, get it serviced or checked
over before you go. If you need, ask either a parent or an experienced
driver to sit with you on the journey
 
Go green and share! You can
save money on motoring costs and be kinder to the planet by buddying up
with pals going to the same university. Another option is to sign up to a
buddy up service such as StudentCarshare.com, which helps you match
other university students making similar journeys to you up and down the
country.
 
Turn off the distractions.
Lower the music and try to keep the noise in the car to the minimum as
you need to remain focused on the road – believe it or not music with a
fast beat encourages you to drive faster
 
Set off in the daytime. If
you are unfamiliar with the route and do not feel confident driving at
night, why not set off in the day time to avoid any hassles? Consider a
few extra refresher lessons or a motorway module to help you gain more
confidence when the evenings start drawing in
 
Turn off your phone. If you
are driving alone, caught up in traffic or whatever the scenario, the
temptation to use Instagram, Snapchat or Candy Crush will always arise.
Don’t give it a chance turn it off and put it out of reach
Richard said:

“Moving away from home for the first time is always stressful, so make sure you know the
route, where to stop for breaks and where you can park at your new home
for the next few months. While you may get a broken heart at university
don’t start by breaking any of your hard earned belongings. Pack
carefully ensuring you can see out of the car and don’t overload it or
have loose items rolling around inside. If you are unsure of anything
have the confidence to ask; experienced drivers will always share their
knowledge.”

 


YOUNG DRIVERS 

 If you are 25 years or under the Scunthorpe group could help you to train for and pass the Advanced driving Test.

The "Skill for Life" package can be offered to you at a one off price of £149.  

If you are within this age bracket or know someone who is then, contact any one of our members on the people page. 

 Check Out the link below for some interesting information.
complete_young_driver_brochure[1].pdf


          The Swings and Roundabouts Of life: Tips from IAM Roadsmart.

30/08/2017
                  

   Roundabouts sometimes send even the most experienced drivers into a panic.

  But never fear:

   IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving standards Richard Gladman is here to help you out.

                    There are a few simple guidelines to follow:
                    Information:  Look well ahead; check your mirrors so that you know what

                    other traffic there is around you.

                    Give any signals in plenty of time. Try and identify a gap in the
                    traffic before you reach the roundabout, but keep an eye on the car in
                    front – they may not go for the gap you would.
                    Position: Approach the roundabout
                    according to which exit you’re taking. Keep to the left lane to turn
                    left or go straight and the right lane when taking an exit on the right.
                    Watch for any road markings guiding you and try to give other vehicles

                    plenty of space.
                    Speed: Slow down smoothly to a
                    speed that’s appropriate for the roundabout and will allow you to stop,
                    taking into account the position of other road users.
                    Gears: Once you’re at the right
                    speed, and before turning, select the correct gear. If you do need to
                    change gear on a roundabout, do it when the steering is on a set
                    position. Do a final mirror check, especially the mirror on the side you
                    are turning towards.
                   Accelerate: At a roundabout choose
                   a gap in the traffic and accelerate smoothly into it – the same applies
                   to any other junction.
                   Richard said: “At roundabouts, your plan from a way back is to stop.

                   But gathering information can
                  allow you to proceed. It is useful to try and consider the whole thing
                  as one manoeuvre – that way you have a plan about which lane to be in,
                  when to move into that lane, and what signals you expect to use. But you
                  need to prepare to be flexible – other road users don’t always behave
                  as we’d expect them to.”

 

 

  Improving the safety of younger drivers - the views of IAM RoadSmart

 
Road crashes are the biggest killer
of young people in the UK today and yet road safety does not merit the
same priority as issues such as knife crime or drugs.
Young people have no incentive to treat driving as a skill for life
and often seek to learn as quickly and as cheaply as possible. New
drivers are most at risk in their first year of driving and yet the
current system abandons them to learn by their own, sometimes fatal,
mistakes.
The risk factors are well known; lack of experience (in all traffic
conditions but especially rural roads, darkness and poor weather),
attitude, distraction (by peer passengers or smartphones) and alcohol
and drugs. Choosing effective restrictions to limit the effect of these
risk factors should be the key objective of the government in creating a
new licensing system that is practical, affordable and works to reduce
young driver road deaths and injuries.
IAM RoadSmart recommendations
Road safety education should be part of the National Curriculum
and theory and hazard perception training and testing should take place
within the education system IAM RoadSmart support a 12 month minimum

learning period with an online learning log for learner drivers to complete prior to taking the practical test. Low speed parking and turning manoeuvres could be
assessed as part of this process. There is evidence that around 120
hours of driving experience in mixed conditions would produce safer new
drivers but not all of this has to be with a paid for instructor. L drivers are a safe group and there is no case for increasing insurance premiums when they use the family car The practical driving test should include driving on high speed roads IAM RoadSmart strongly supports the development of a 'post' or
'second' phase  test as part of a refreshed licensing system. After
passing the practical test refresher and eco driving lessons must be
taken before full license status is granted. IAM RoadSmart wants to work
with stakeholders to develop the best solution using the resources
currently available in the UK Alongside these interventions IAM RoadSmart supports some graduated license controls in the first year/six months of driving, for
example to limit the number of  peer passengers (but no limit on older
passengers) and a lower blood alcohol limit IAM RoadSmart do not support night time curfews on young drivers as they reduce opportunities to gain experience, impact on the economy and job prospects and raise problems of enforcement IAM RoadSmart is ready to provide its knowledge and expertise in developing the content of the minimum learning period and post test  interventions, as well as on line learning and new recording systems Low income drivers should not be disadvantaged by an extended
system of learning to drive.

At IAM RoadSmart we believe there is strong potential for volunteers and employers to help all drivers gain a full licence.


 

 





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