Young drivers facing big risk on our roads

YOUNG drivers in Lincolnshire face one of the highest risks of being injured in car crashes in the country, according to a new report.

Research firm Road Safety Analysis (RSA) put West Lindsey 17th worst in the country for the risk posed to 16-to-29-year-old motorists. That’s out of 341 different regions.

In its report ‘Young Drivers’ Road Risk and Rurality’ RSA gives each area a risk rate, with a score of 100 the average. West Lindsey’s risk score is 162.

Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership believes that the combination of poor public transport and the distance between where people live and where they work, shop and go to school contribute to West Lindsey’s high risk, with young people needing to get behind the wheel more than in more urban areas.

Communications manager John Siddle said: “Our drivers, when going out and about they are not doing two to three miles. The nearest thing could be a shop seven miles away or a school 15 miles away.

“The kind of mileage they are doing represents a risk as well and those miles that they are going to be doing tend to be at national speed limit whereas in somewhere like London they will be doing 30 or 20 miles an hour for most of their driving lives.

“We also know that those drivers, when they have collisions, tend to be involved in one that are low level and bumper to bumper.

“When we have comings together it’s at high speed and it all gets very very serious.”

The road safety partnership has run a series of theatre demonstrations as part of its 2 Fast 2 Soon project to spell out the disastrous consequences of dangerous driving.

Mr Siddle said that scheme has cut casualties for our 17 to 24-year-olds by 50 per cent.

The partnership will now look at focussed sessions with groups of about 20 students, taking them to its top of the range driving simulator in North Kyme where they can experience a host of hazards.

Mr Siddle added: “We will also be focussing on things like texting and using mobile phones and the things young drivers do as a result of peer pressure.”

South Holland is worst in the country, with a score of 200. Boston is sixth with a score of 180 and East Lindsey 27th with 157.

Report author Tanya Fosdick concludes: “This research would imply that a first step in reducing the crash involvement of rural young drivers might be to deal with their inexperience on more demanding rural roads – it could signal that increased driver training and testing on rural roads is needed for the young and inexperienced.

“The report also points to a need to consider ways in which reducing the mileage driven by these young drivers could be managed.”

The report adds that better transport links could help reduce the risk.