Lincolnshire has third highest risk for young drivers

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston
News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

Young Lincolnshire drivers face the third highest risk in the country of suffering an injury in a road collision.

A study by Road Safety Analysis showed that the average number of young rural drivers involved in collisions which cause an injury is 396, 34 per cent above the national average.

The area as a whole is further seen as dangerous with North and North East Lincolnshire top of the list for the country, with a collision rate 40 per cent above the national average.

The study was released in support of the Drive It Home road safety campaign from National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs and NFU Mutual.

NFYFC will be working closely with its clubs in Lincolnshire to publicise its safe driving campaign.

Analysis of the date also said:

*young rural people are 89% more likely to have a full driving licence than urban youngsters and that they are more likely to get their licences at an earlier age. The group argues this could be due to the lack of transport links in rural areas and the need for young people to be able to get to college, work or to socialise.

*The study found that many of the influencing factors for a collision involving a young driver are proportionally higher for those living in rural areas owing to the makeup of the road network and their own inexperience. In particular, young rural drivers are two-thirds (68%) more likely to be involved in a collision on a road with a 60mph limit.

*The RSA study also found that their inexperience meant that they are 28 per cent more likely to be involved in a single vehicle collision than young urban drivers – this figure increases to 45 per cent when compared to rural adult drivers.

The study highlighted there are also a number of factors that appear to be unique to young rural drivers.

*They are 28 per cent more likely to claim loss of control as a contributory factor and 16 per cent more likely to have a collision on a wet road surface.

*It seems young rural drivers are also more likely to risk drink driving, as the study showed they are nearly two-thirds (60per cent) more likely to provide a positive breath test at the time of the collision.

The report’s recommendations include:

Graduated driving licences – introducing restrictions for new drivers

Rural driving tests – demonstrating competency on rural roads could reduce risks for new and young drivers

Rural communities to provide more transport options for young residents – community based transport schemes to take young people to events in the evenings or during poor weather

Telematic based insurance products – black boxes fitted to cars to monitor speed

Alcolocks – alcohol testers which act as vehicle immobilisers.

Milly Wastie, NFYFC’s National Chairman of Council, said: “This research shows that rural young drivers face distinct challenges on our country roads and a lack of education and support is costing lives. For example, 52 per cent of rural young drivers are more likely to be involved in a collision on a bend than urban young drivers and 63 per cent are more likely to be involved in a collision in the dark.

“We are working with NFU Mutual to ensure our Drive it Home campaign tackles these issues by offering our 25,000 members practical driver training courses. But more needs to be done to spread the safety messages wider.

“The NFYFC would like to see the introduction of rural roads within the driving test and for more rural communities to provide wider transport options for young people in their local area. We must work together to tackle road safety and to save lives.”

Dan Campsall from RSA said: “The recommendations of this report may not be wholeheartedly welcomed by all, but the research provides clear evidence that our rural young people are experiencing real inequality from the effect of road traffic crashes.

“These events devastate close-knit communities and destroy the promising futures of too many young lives. This research, which represents the most detailed study to-date of risks to young drivers who live in rural communities, is a challenge to national and local government, to communities and families alike to build the infrastructure, legislative frameworks and support structures which will serve to protect these young people.”

Tim Price of NFU Mutual added: “This research is broadly in line with our own experience as the UK’s leading rural insurer. Deaths and serious injuries are taking a dreadful toll on the lives of young people and we are working with Young Farmers’ Clubs and other organisations to try and reduce accidents and save lives.”