Why are young drivers more likely to have a road accident?

Why are young drivers more at risk?

25% of drivers and passengers who die are UNDER 25 years of age! Research shows that the combination of youth and inexperience puts younger drivers at high risk. Their inexperience means they have less ability to spot hazards, and their youth means they are particularly likely to take risks.

Main factors for young people being involved in road traffic collisions include:

  • Speeding
  • Peer pressure
  • Lack of experience
  • No seatbelts
  • Mobile phone use
  • Lack of concentration

Lack of concentration

  • Driving requires constantly balancing the attention needed for practical tasks and hazard identification. Young drivers need to concentrate more on practical tasks so are slower to switch between tasks and slower to react to hazards

Mobile Phones

  • Younger drivers are consistently found to be more likely to take the risk of using mobile phones while driving, particularly hand-held and for a wider range of purposes other than just calls

Drink & Drugs

  • Young drivers have the highest rates of both drink and drug driving crashes. They are twice as likely to be impaired by alcohol and drugs as older drivers

No seatbelts

  • Young drivers and passengers are less likely to always wear seatbelts and may not belt up when with friends due to peer pressure

Lack of experience

  • Due to inexperience young drivers need to concentrate more on practical tasks, this means they are slower to react to hazards and more likely to be involved in a collision

Peer Pressure

  • Peer pressure can encourage bad driving and result in young people feeling the need to show off and take more risks.  This can mean they are 4 times more likely to crash with peers of a similar age in the car


  • Excessive or inappropriate speed is known to be a key contributory factor in crashes involving young drivers in Wales