Young drivers and riders aged 15-25 are more likely to be killed on Europe’s roads than their older counterparts, despite continued improvements in road safety. Road collisions remain one of the highest external causes of death for young people. The risks are especially high for young males and for young riders.
This high collision risk is caused by a combination of factors. Biological and social changes between the ages of 15-25 affect the risk perception of young people and lead to an increase in social activity and associated pressure from peers.
A lack of experience on the road means that young people are worse at anticipating and reacting to hazards. They are also less aware of how best to drive and ride in particular road conditions and situations.
A range of impairments and distractions affect young people. This is linked to the increased social activity they experience during the ages of 15-25, which includes a greater exposure to alcohol and drugs, the influence of peer-age passengers and the effects of fatigue. In-car distraction from mobile devices is also a problem.
Young people tend to drive smaller and older vehicles as they are cheaper and more practical. These cars often have a lower crashworthiness and lack the safety technologies featured in newer, larger cars. The use of seat belts and protective clothing is also poor amongst young people.
A variety of countermeasures have been adopted across Europe and further afield, with the aim of reducing the collision risk of young people.
Recommendations have been made here based on those countermeasures shown to be most effective. The report groups these into the following four areas:
Download the report here