When most people pass their driving tests, they can’t wait to tear off their L plates and get out on the road without the supervision of a parent or driving instructor. However, while you do now have your vehicular independence, you should make sure that you don’t get careless: drivers under the age of 25 are statistically more at risk of suffering car accidents than any other age group. But what are the facts, and how can you make sure your parents don’t fill up your inbox with texts asking if you’re okay every time you roll out of the driveway?
- Make sure your friends behave themselves
As the newest driver in your friend group, you will no doubt be prevailed upon to provide lifts (don’t be afraid of asking for some sort of compensation if this becomes a regular occurrences). However, they shouldn’t take this privilege for granted: they need to be good passengers if they expect to get a ride. Distractions and general showing off cause a huge amount of accidents each year. Additionally, you should always make sure everyone has seatbelts on (and that you never carry more passengers than your car is meant to): only one fifth of passengers involved in fatal car accidents were wearing seat belts. An unsecured passenger is capable of killing not only themselves but also those sitting in the car’s front seats (the driver included).
- Don’t driver while under the influence
While guys aged 17-20 are seven times more at risk than older male drivers, this figure rises to 17 times between the hours of 2 and 5am. This is largely due to people attempting to get home while still under the influence of drink or drugs. Tiredness can also kill; if in doubt, walk or get a taxi.
- Don’t become one of the statistics
One in five new drivers end up in a car crash within six months of passing their driving test. As long as you drive safely and carefully, however, you should be able to avoid the majority of such mishaps (and thus also higher insurance costs!).
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