A report by the RAC Foundation is calling for a young driver green paper, because of the numbers of teenagers killing or injuring hundreds of their young friends and family each year.
The charity says that in 2013, 234 teenage car passengers were killed or seriously injured in Great Britain when the young driver (17-19) they were travelling with was involved in a crash. It adds that when casualties of all severities are included the annual figure rose to 2,144.
Previous research for the Foundation showed that while teenage drivers (17-19) make up only one and a half per cent of full licence holders they are involved in 12 per cent of accidents where someone is killed or seriously hurt.
Furthermore one in five newly qualified young drivers will have an accident within six months of passing their test.
In light of the figures, the RAC Foundation is renewing its call for the publication of a green paper on young driver safety, something that was promised by the coalition government but not delivered. Potential solutions include the wider use of telematics ‘black box’ insurance – where safer driving styles are rewarded with lower insurance premiums – and graduated licensing.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The casualty figures do not cast blame for accidents, but given the disproportionate number of young drivers involved in accidents the conclusion must be that many teenagers are being killed by the inexperience of their friends at the wheel.
“The increasing take-up of telematics-based insurance may help cut young driver accidents but graduated licensing has shown consistent positive results around the world.
“Graduated licensing has been common in many countries for some time and would help keep newly qualified young drivers, and their passengers, safe during the critical first thousand miles after people have passed their test. It is a tragedy it has not been introduced or even debated as a policy option.”