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Accid Anal Prev. 2006 Sep;38(5):871-8. Epub 2006 Apr 5.

Young driver accidents in the UK: the influence of age, experience, and time of day.

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School of Psychology, The University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK.


Young drivers, especially males, have relatively more accidents than other drivers. Young driver accidents also have somewhat different characteristics to those of other drivers; they include single vehicle accidents involving loss of control; excess speed for conditions; accidents during darkness; accidents on single carriageway rural roads; and accidents while making cross-flow turns (i.e. turning right in the UK, equivalent to a left turn in the US and continental Europe). A sample of over 3000 accident cases was considered from midland British police forces, involving drivers aged 17-25 years, and covering a two year period. Four types of accident were analysed: right-turns; rear-end shunts; loss of control on curves; and accidents in darkness. Loss of control on curves and accidents in darkness were found to be a particular problem for younger drivers. It was found that cross-flow turn accidents showed the quickest improvement with increasing driver experience, whereas accidents occurring in darkness with no street lighting showed the slowest rate of improvement. 'Time of day' analyses suggested that the problems of accidents in darkness are not a matter of visibility, but a consequence of the way young drivers use the roads at night. There appears to be a large number of accidents associated with voluntary risk-taking behaviours of young drivers in 'recreational' driving.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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