Are Younger Drivers More Dangerous?

Are younger drivers more dangerous?

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Are younger drivers that bad? UK roads are packed full of new and young drivers today and the latest figures show small cars, the staple of a young driver's new car choice, make up a third of all new car sales.

According to the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) cars in the 'mini' and 'supermini' segment, for example the Ford Fiesta and Fiat 500, grew in number above UK average in November.

The popularity of these cars with younger drivers is one of the major reasons for this success - and the low insurance costs, prices and running costs of these cars seem to be a perfect fit.

However, when compared to other age groups younger drivers are not actually saving as much money as others, according to new research from insurance experts MoneySupermarket.com.

Insurance has dropped across the board this year by up to 6.8 per cent but the decrease in insurance costs for drivers aged between 20 and 24 has fallen by the smallest amount - 5.1 per cent.

Once drivers are out of this bracket and into the 25 to 29 age range, insurance prices have dropped significantly more. In fact, at 6.8 per cent this is the biggest amount insurance has dropped out of any age group.

However, those aged 17-19 still pay the highest premiums, despite their choice of smaller, less powerful cars.

According to MoneySupermarket.com "Younger, less experienced drivers have always borne the brunt of higher premiums because of their risk profile, so it will not be a surprise to many that the largest premiums are paid by those 17-19 years old."

"Although the price of premiums has been trending down in most recent months, newer drivers suffered a huge hike earlier this year and therefore the overall picture isn't as favourable compared with older motorists.

"The age group to see the highest level of deflation across the data set were the over 65s whose average premiums have decreased by £33 or by 14.5 per cent."

Why the low drop for younger drivers? Younger drivers are often seen as being more dangerous for a number of reasons.

These include lack of experience. Figures show the chance of an accident decreases by 50 per cent after a year of driving and this can improve by 80 per cent after two years.

Other aspects also play their part. For example, younger drivers are seen to be more over-confident, poorer at spotting hazards and more likely to be subjected to peer pressure with friends in the car.

There is now a campaign from road groups to limit the freedom of younger drivers by placing a curfew on them, preventing them from travelling at night and from carrying passengers.