The charity Brake is encouraging emergency services personnel to attend its International Congress on Youth, Gender and Road Risk, as Government statistics show that young drivers (age 17-24) continue to be involved in a disproportionately high number of road deaths and injuries.

According to Brake, the latest statistics show that one in four deaths and serious injuries on British roads in 2009 involved a young driver, despite young people accounting for just one in eight licence holders. Deaths and injuries in crashes involving young drivers have fallen in the past decade, but in 2009 there were still 11 deaths and 111 serious injuries every week involving this age group.

The statistics reveal that:

  • Nearly three-quarters (71 per cent) of the young drivers involved in casualties were male
  • Young driver crashes are more likely to involve multiple casualties - the average number of casualties in a young driver crash is 1.56, compared to 1.38 of all crashes
  • Young driver crashes are more likely to occur at night-time at weekends than crashes overall.

Brake's 9th Road Safety Forum International Congress, sponsored by Colas and Young Marmalade, will explore the relationship between 'Youth, Gender and Road Risk'. The conference, on June 30, in London, will examine why young drivers and male drivers are involved in such a high proportion of casualties, and look at international research and experience in targeting effective interventions at these groups. For more information go to www.roadsafetyforum.org/events.

Road Safety Week 2011 (November 21-27), coordinated by Brake, will also focus on the theme 2Young2Die, encouraging community initiatives to tackle road deaths and injuries among young people. Emergency services are urged to put the date in their diaries and access advice on tying their work to this flagship, national event at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk.

Julie Townsend, campaigns director of Brake, said: "While casualties involving young drivers have fallen, it's unacceptable that so many families still have to face this devastation every day. We're urging emergency services personnel to attend our International Congress this summer, to hear the latest international evidence and case studies on targeting young and male drivers. It's an invaluable training opportunity for anyone working in the road safety field."

Brake is also calling on the government to include measures to tackle young driver casualties, and challenging targets for reducing these casualties, within its strategic framework for road safety, currently being developed. Brake is calling for a system of graduated driving liciensing, so novice drivers develop their skills and experience gradually over time, through a minimum learning period and a novice driver period.

 

Date posted: 11.02.11