Learning to drive in the dark could help reduce accident rates in the UK
According to a new investigation, it’s believed that experience rather than age is mainly accountable for the reduced accident rate.
IAM RoadSmart, who carried out the study, suggest that learner drivers should have driving lessons at night to ensure they stay safe on the roads.
The study involved looking into accidents in which the driver had only recently passed their test. They discovered that whilst new drivers had no problems with how to avoid ‘single vehicle’ accidents, a number of factors such as driving at night and at the weekends sprung up additional risks, something that extra training might help to alleviate.
The road safety organisation noted four key factors which played their role when it came to accidents involving new drivers.
These are made up of poor judgement and inexperience, insufficient control of the car, economic factors and lifestyle factors.
Economic factors relate to new drivers mostly buying older cars, as they are the ones most affordable to them but this tends to mean the vehicle provides poorer crash protection than if they’d gone out and purchased a newer model.
The study also found that the accident rate amongst new drivers fall in line with experience as opposed to age.
Seventeen-year-olds experienced a 36% average reduction in the chances of being involved in an accident because of time already spent on the road, in comparison to a 6% reduction due to age and experience.
What this suggests, is that anyone taking their test later on in life experience a similar kind of risk level to that of a 17-year-old driver.
Their research also discovered that driving on the motorway throws up a separate set of circumstances, with accident rates increasing at first, before “demonstrating a delayed learning curve”.
They also claim that new drivers are slower at learning how to use slip roads in comparison to how quickly they can amass other driving skills, something which will hopefully change in the future following the announcement that learner drivers for the first time are to be allowed on the motorway.
“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,” said Sarah Sillars from IAM RoadSmart.
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