Is your son one of the young drivers in Cheshire statistically most likely to kill or injure someone in a car crash? REBECCA EDWARDS finds out how road safety teams are using new survey results to reduce crashes
ROAD safety teams have targeted drivers who are statistically most likely to be involved in a crash.
Between 2001-2007 in Cheshire, 822 deaths or serious injuries were caused by crashes involving young male drivers aged 17-21.
Analysis of these crashes revealed they are likely to involve new drivers at night in red or blue hatchbacks that are on average eight years old.
The most common models are the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Citroen Saxo and the chance of crashing increases when there are one or more passengers in the car.
Young drivers from the CH3 postcode, which includes Boughton, Christleton, Tattenhall, Guilden Sutton, Malpas, Tarvin and Barrow, were in the top four Cheshire postcodes most likely to be involved in a crash.
The Cheshire Safer Roads Partnership survey also showed:
Most crashes occurred on A or B roads.
One in seven drivers were not insured and one in 10 did not have a licence.
One in 13 test positive for alcohol.
One in 10 have a prior motoring offence.
One third of all collisions occurred within two kilometres of the driver’s home.
Two thirds of all collisions occur within five kilometres of the driver’s home.
Speed is a factor in one in three road deaths.
One in five new drivers has an accident within the first 12 months of passing their test.
New drivers are involved in 29% of all road crashes.
Lee Murphy, of Cheshire Safer Roads Partnership, said the driver profile is helping safety officers target the most likely crash drivers – and their potential victims.
He said: “In some areas, we are offering extra driving courses to drivers who live in certain postcodes.
“We might also target drivers who have had minor traffic offences and send them on a Drive Survive or Pass Plus course.
“We are not saying every blue Fiesta driver will have a crash. It is the driver that causes the crash not the car, and if we can target them before they have that crash it is a way to reduce deaths on the roads.”
Lee says there are some basic steps to take to make young drivers safer.
He said: “We want parents to talk to their kids and make sure they are aware of the risks. Make sure they are driving within the speed limit, with their seat belt on, not under the influence and not messing around with their mates.
“You could ask them not to stay out after 10pm for the first few months, or not to drive with their friends at night. That way you are not restricting their independence but you are phasing in trickier driving situations as they become more experienced.
“Young drivers are more at risk but paradoxically they are better drivers mechanically – they have better hand-eye co-ordination.
“They just have not got the road sense to acknowledge the risks especially when they are driving at night with their mates in the back and with the music blaring.
“Everyone remembers their first car and the feeling of being 17, independent for the first time with your mates. It is a great thing but it is also potentially quite risky and we want to make sure they know that.”