Young drivers account for more than two in five road deaths, according to new research by safety campaign organisation Brake.
Brake says that 1297 of the 3201 deaths in 2005 involved a motorist or rider aged between 15 and 25, according to figures supplied to it by the Department for Transport and the Northern Ireland Police Service, despite the fact they account for just one in eight licenses.
Road crashes remain the leading cause of death for people aged between 15 and 24.
The safety group said graduated driver licensing, where the training process is broken into more stages, is urgently needed to better equip young motorists with vital skills. Brake also wants road safety to be made a compulsory part of the national education curriculum.
Brake's head of education, Jools Townsend, said: 'Too many young people think they are invincible and fail to consider how their dangerous actions behind the wheel can kill and maim themselves, their friends and other road users.'
The Department for Transport is once again considering a shake-up of driving training, three years after it rejected a wide range of proposals put forward following two years of intensive consultation.
DfT still has work to do
In its latest annual Transport Trends report, published today, the DfT says it is on track for its 2010 goal of reducing deaths and serious injuries by 40%, or by 50% in the case of children.
However, although it claims a 33% drop on these averages, or 49% in the case of children, these statistics rely almost wholly on large drops in serious injuries rather than any significant headway in cutting deaths.
Brake has produced a free pack for educators called Too Young to Die. To get the pack, which includes a DVD with hard-hitting case studies of accidents, booklets and a presentation, call 01484 559909 or e-mail email@example.com.
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