Calls for teen driving licence

Motoring chiefs call for graduated licences after figure show new drivers are involved in high number of fatal crashes

Nearly half of teenagers killed in car crashes were being driven by someone of similar age, damning new figures reveal today.

An alarming 234 teenage passengers were killed or seriously injured in accidents involving drivers aged 17 to 19 in 2013, according to new research by the RAC Foundation. There were 2,144 slight injuries, equivalent to around 41 each week.

Calls for teen driving licence

A 'deadly mix' of youthful fearlessness and lack of experience among young drivers – combined with cars packed with friends - is blamed for the disproportionately high teenage death toll.

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said the figures and a recent spate of high profile crashes involving teenagers, reinforced the need for a 'graduated driving licence' – in which young drivers face initials curbs to their driving – such as night curfews, limits on how many young people may be in the vehicle, and late night curfews, and a one-year minimum learning period.

Professor Stephen Glaister said: 'Young people are four times more likely to die in a road accident than as a result of drink or drugs. Yet, as a society we seem to turn a blind eye to the carnage. If this was any other area of public health there would be an outcry.'

He added: 'The casualty figures do not cast blame for accidents, but given the disproportionate number of young drivers involved in accidents, the conclusion must be that many teenagers are being killed by the inexperience of their friends at the wheel.

Explaining the high mortality rate he said: 'Circumstances conspire against young drivers. Their youth, fearlessness and lack of experience create a deadly mix which means one in five will have an accident within the first six months of passing their test.

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