Grim statistics of young drivers

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YOUNG drivers in South Holland are more likely to be injured in a car crash than those anywhere else in the country.

The findings of a new report put the district top of the table for the number of people aged 16 to 29 hurt in road collisions.

Fenland and Boston also come within the top five in the report, which compares the risk in rural and urban areas.

Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership says there are a number of reasons why South Holland tops the league in the Young Drivers’ Road Risk and Rurality report, but says the figure may be skewed by the higher proportion of young drivers within the district’s population.

However, John Siddle, of LRSP, said: “In a rural area like South Holland when things go wrong on the road, they can go spectacularly wrong.

“If you make a small mistake while driving at slower speeds in the city, you might clip a road sign and be looking at a minor ding to the paintwork, but on more rural roads, where the speed limit is higher, you are more likely to leave the road, hit a tree and flip over.

“You are much more likely to be calling out a coroner.”

The report suggests the reason for young drivers in rural areas such as South Holland being more at risk could be related to increased exposure due to the more miles they drive compared to people in cities, and because of the types of road.

And it says: “This research would imply that a first step in reducing the crash involvement of rural young drivers might be to deal with their inexperience on the more demanding rural roads – it could signal that increased driver training and testing on rural roads is needed for the young and inexperienced.

“The report also points to a need to consider ways of reducing the mileage driven by these young people. Improved access to alternative transport could represent a key to improving safety among this vulnerable road user group.”

Mr Siddle said LRSP has had some success in getting across the message about the dangers of speed, but there is more that could be done by working with schools to pass on safety advice.