Alcohol and mobile phones have no place behind the steering wheel. This message has been promoted to drivers for a long time now but it isn’t getting through to Britain’s youngest motorists, new research suggests.
Young drivers are twice as likely to say they’ve been a passenger with someone who used their mobile phone behind the wheel in the past year, according to a study published by the AA Charitable Trust.
Among young motorists aged 18 to 24, half of them (53 per cent) said they had been driven by someone using their handheld mobile phone; that’s twice as many as the average for all drivers (26 per cent).
It was a similar picture in regards to alcohol too, with more than one in ten (11 per cent) saying they’d been a passenger in a car with a drunk driver, compared to five per cent of drivers of all ages.
More 18 to 24-year-olds said they’d been in car with a speeding driver compared to the rest of the motoring public (82 per cent to 71 per cent), while more have ridden as a passenger without wearing a seat belt too (26 per cent to 19 per cent).
Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, believes the problem can and should be addressed in the school classroom.
“We have long campaigned for road safety to be included in the national curriculum,” he commented.
“Young people are passengers before they are drivers so we need to improve the education they receive about safe driving habits before they are old enough to get in the driver’s seat.”
The AA Charitable Trust is helping improve awareness by making £50,000 worth of road safety education funding available to schools and colleges across the UK.
These funds can be used by schools to take part in the Changing Attitudes in Road Safety (CARS) programme; an innovative in-classroom road safety course delivered by AA driving instructors.
Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “There is a clear education gap and the government should be following the AA’s lead by investing in courses that highlight how risky and potentially fatal this kind of behaviour can be.”
Posted on 20th March 2018
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