New Welsh Driving Fatality Figures Released

1 In 4 Motorists Killed In Wales Are Under 25, Statistics Show


The Welsh government has published new statistics that highlight the number of fatal vehicle collisions on the country's roads.

More than one in four (27 per cent) of the drivers or passengers who were killed or seriously injured in crashes between 2008 and 2012 were under the age of 25, Wales Online reports.

This is despite the fact this particular demographic accounts for just 12 per cent of the population.

In 2012, 22 of the 93 people who died on Welsh roads were aged between 16 and 24. Although this figure was down slightly on 2011, road safety charities and organisations are worried that inexperienced motorists are involved in too many accidents.

Michelle Harrington, road safety manager for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in Wales, told the news provider that reducing the number of youngsters being killed or badly injured while on the roads remains a priority of the government and its partners.

"The Road Safety Framework for Wales, published in July 2013 sets a target of a 40 per cent 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)," she commented.

Meanwhile, Sarah-Jane Martin from road safety charity Brake has urged the government to adopt a graduated driver system, which will encourage youngsters to do more driving with a supervisor in order to build up their experience.

There has been a great deal of debate about potential driving test reforms in the UK in recent months, with a report from the Transport Research Laboratory recommending that a "12-month learner stage" is introduced for 17-year-olds.

This would mean they have to undertake 100 hours of lessons in daylight and 20 hours of night-time driving before they can move on to a probationary licence.

Further restrictions, such as a limit on the number of passengers allowed in a car while a youngster is behind the wheel, have also been proposed.

Expert Opinion
It is an unfortunate truth that a high number of the drivers killed or seriously injured on UK roads are in younger age groups and much research has been done into this issue in recent months.

“As mentioned above, the TRL research was particularly interesting in its recommendations for significant changes to the current driving test system and creating a year-long ‘learner stage’.

“Any step aimed at improving road safety is a welcome one, so we hope that the momentum on this issue can be built on and lead to genuine changes to ensure that everything possible is done to help younger drivers gain the skills they need at the earliest opportunity.

“This is about more than the safety of young drivers, it is also about ensuring the safety of other road users too.”
Stephen Nye, Partner