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Research from IAM RoadSmart and TRL analysed collision data involving recently qualified drivers

A road safety charity has said that young drivers need to learn how to avoid collisions with vulnerable road users more quickly.

The appeal from IAM RoadSmart followed analysis carried out in partnership with the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) into crahes involving young drivers.

Their report, called Young Novice Driver Collision Types, found that young drivers quickly picked up skills needed to avoid single-vehicle crashes.

However, they took longer to acquire others such as avoiding vulnerable road users – possibly because of poor hazard perception skills – or driving safely on motorways.

Recommendations made in the report are as follows:

Further research to understand why novice drivers are involved in and learn quickly to avoid single vehicle loss of control type crashes. This can inform the development of targeted interventions and possible training.

Consider options for reducing young driver crashes at night (eg additional experience gained during the learner phase).

The government’s plans to allow learners on motorways are fully justified by the report as it is clear new drivers are likely to benefit from practice on motorways.

Explore the role that advanced hazard perception training might offer in reducing the threat young drivers pose to Vulnerable Road Users.

Explore the apparent trend of young drivers’ vehicles being more likely to be hit from the rear. There may be practical, hazard perception or anticipation training that could be of benefit.

IAM RoadSmart Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Sillars, said: “It is really useful to learn more about how young drivers are gaining the experience they need to have a safe driving career.

“However, analysing the results, it is vital that government, road safety bodies and the driver instruction industry work together to generate new strategies to target those skills that are not being learned at the fastest rate.”

She added: “It also shows that in the formative years of driving, there is clearly a need for post-test training to continue, to build experience that can reduce the number of needless tragedies on our roads.”

The report has been discussed today on the road.cc forum, and you can find the thread here.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.