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Young drivers need to learn how to avoid collisions with vulnerable road users more quickly, says road safety charity

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 forum, and you can find the thread here.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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