Vias: ‘Youngsters still largest high-risk group in traffic’
Although the number of youngsters killed in traffic accidents halved compared to ten years ago, they still are the largest high-risk group in traffic, as is the conclusion of a new report of traffic safety institute Vias.
“There are several explanations for it”, spokesman Stef Willems says. “One of them is speed, another having passengers aboard.” Also sleepiness more often occurs to young drivers than to older ones because youngsters more often drive at night.
Distraction and macho behaviour
Youngsters do not drive and drink more often than older drivers but the risk increases, first of all because their bodies don’t tolerate the alcohol that well and because for them driving still requires more attention.
Young drivers run a two or even three times higher risk on a fatal accident when they have passengers aboard. One passenger aboard doubles the risk, especially a male passenger. Passengers on board increase distraction and lead to macho behaviour where the presence of passengers for older drivers hardly has any effect on the driving.
According to Vias this high-risk group needs special attention and measures. The extension of the driving test with an exercise to recognize dangerous situations is a step in the right direction but Vias pleads for zero tolerance for young drivers.