Young drivers remain at risk on the roads. Statistics released by the Welsh Government show that young drivers more than any other group of drivers are dying in car related accidents. More than a quarter of all drivers and passengers killed between 2008 and 2012 were under the age of 25. Those under 25 that were killed or seriously injured in car accidents in Wales amounted to 27% despite the fact that that same age group of 16 to 24 year olds makes up just 12% of the population.
Road charity Brake has called for more urgent steps to be taken to keep young drivers safer on roads.
Statistics did show a reduction of the number of young drivers that were killed on the road in a comparison of data from 2012 to 2011 but the numbers are still high and startling in comparison to other driver groups. The result in the reduction is due to fewer young drivers on the road and not the success of a previous move to keep them safer. The economic conditions have kept many young people off the road.
The Welsh Governments’ National Statistics Report stated: “The decline in the number of young men drivers (who are particularly at risk of injuring themselves or other road users) is linked to changes in the socio-economic position of young men, exacerbated by changes in the wider economy since 2008.”
In response, Michelle Harrington, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) road safety manager for Wales said, “Reducing road casualties amongst the 16 to 24-year age group remains a key priority for both Welsh Government and its road safety partners.
“The Road Safety Framework for Wales, published in July 2013 sets a target of a 40% reduction in the number of young people (aged 16 to 24) killed and seriously injured on Welsh roads by 2020 (compared to the 2004-08 average figures for Wales).
“Together with a targeted and established range of education, training and publicity measures carried out across Wales, external factors, such as the economy, motoring costs and weather conditions, seem to have contributed to the reported reductions.
“The Framework identifies young people as a high risk group and sets out clear expectations and targets.
“Whilst the continued downturn in casualties is welcomed by RoSPA and its partners in Road Safety Wales, the focus firmly remains on achieving a further significant reduction in casualties amongst this age group.”