One in five new drivers crash in first year behind the wheel

29th November 2017

Photo: Daisy-Daisy/iStock

A fifth of new drivers are involved in a car accident within 12 months of obtaining their driving licence, according to new research.

This equates to an estimated 176,000 new drivers being caught up in a collision in their first year.

Scotland, the North East and the West Midlands were the top three most common regions for new driver accidents in 2016/17, with Coventry, Chelmsford and Aberdeen boasting the highest number of accidents on a city level.

In contrast, the North West, Wales and the East Midlands were the regions that saw the fewest new driver accidents, breaking down to Aberystwyth, Gloucester, Southampton and Swansea for cities.

The young ones

The research, compiled by GAP insurance brokers ALA using Freedom of Information requests and results from its own national survey, also found that around 3,200 (or 0.4 per cent of) new drivers were disqualified within the first 12 months of driving.

Out of these, 28 per cent were aged between 19 and 21, and 25 per cent were between 22 and 25 years.

The most common age though was 18 and 19, with 443 being 18 and 379 being 19, while a staggering 87 per cent of disqualified new drivers were male. The issue was most prolific in Leeds, where 1.6 per cent of new drivers had seen their licence be revoked – almost four times the national average.

ALA put the high number of accidents amongst young drivers down to a combination of inexperience, over-confidence and being more likely to take risks.

Simon England, managing director of ALA, said his company was inspired to carry out the research due to insurance premiums constantly rising for younger drivers and he believes that experience really does count out on the road.

Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, added: “Almost every driver on the road will be able to tell you about an accident they were involved in – or at least a close call – so perhaps more should be done to educate and better prepare new drivers for the reality of life on the road.”

Photo: Daisy-Daisy/iStock