Young Drivers Face Disproportionate Risks On Country Roads

New data has revealed that young drivers are disproportionately at risk of death when driving on country roads…

Young Drivers At Greater Risk On Country Roads 

A new analysis of driver fatality statistics has revealed that young drivers face disproportionate risks of death on country roads. Around 71% of all road fatalities amongst drivers aged 17 to 24 were on rural roads. For perspective, the national average is 57%. Drivers aged 17 face the greatest risks, but this gradually decreases each year as they age. Some stretches of country road are significantly more dangerous than others. For instance, the A229 in Kent has the highest collision density for young drivers. In addition, the A6076 in County Durham is the most deadly overall.

In the UK, country or rural roads are non-motorway roads and are situated in areas with populations lower than 10,000 people. Back in 2019, there were 1,752 road deaths according to government figures. Some 994 of these occurred on rural roads (57%). This is despite the fact that the roads only carry 43% of all traffic.

Driver Education Needed 

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, commented on the figures. He explained, “rural roads are often narrow with blind bends”, and that it’s “essential to improve young drivers’ awareness of the dangers posed by rural roads”.

Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, said that young drivers needed better education and more exposure to country roads if their risks were to be mitigated. He said, “our data clearly shows that the rural road risk is highest for the youngest drivers on our roads and decreases with each year of age. This is a clear sign that greater education and exposure to rural roads helps alleviate the risks they pose”. He said that the Trust would continue to prioritise safety campaigns aimed at younger drivers and their experiences on rural roads.

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