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Half of UK motorists would welcome a zero drink driving alcohol limit for young drivers

04 February 2013

Half (50%) of UK motorists believe that the Government should consider introducing a zero drink driving alcohol limit for young drivers.

Young male drivers aged between 17 and 20 are 10 times* more likely to be killed or seriously injured on the roads than more experienced drivers, and their claims costs are likely to be three times higher**. It's no surprise, then, that a new study commissioned by Gocompare.com has revealed that UK drivers would like the Government to consider a range of measures aimed at curbing the number of accidents involving young, inexperienced drivers. 2,000 UK motorists aged 18 and over took part in the survey.

As well as imposing a zero tolerance approach to drinking and driving, nearly half (49%) of UK motorists think that young drivers should be limited to only driving cars with smaller engines until they've built up sufficient driving experience. And 40% would like to consider making it mandatory for all young drivers to have telematics-based car insurance policies, which collect data on driving behaviour, so that their driving was constantly monitored. The suggested young driver restrictions were even more popular among the respondents aged 25 and over.

Most popular measures for trying to reduce young driver road accidents:

  • 50% of British drivers would like the Government to consider a zero drink and drive alcohol limit for young drivers
  • 49% would like car engine size restrictions until drivers reach a certain level of experience
  • 40% would like mandatory telematics behaviour-based car insurance policies for young drivers
  • 34% would consider giving the police powers to issue instant short-term bans to young drivers they feel are driving recklessly
  • 28% would consider banning young drivers from carrying passengers in their cars until reaching a certain level of driving experience
  • 28% would consider introducing curfews to prevent young drivers from driving at certain high risk times such as late at night

Drivers were also asked for their views on speeding, and 29% of drivers aged 18 to 24 felt that sometimes breaking the speed limit wasn't dangerous and nearly a quarter (23%) of 18 to 24 year olds admitted that they occasionally break the speed limit if they are in a hurry to get somewhere. These were the highest percentages recorded from respondents in any age group.

Of all the age groups 18 to 24 year olds were the drivers most likely to speed in areas where there were temporary speed limits set up, such as around road works, and less than 1 in 5 (17%) said that they never break the speed limit.

Scott Kelly, head of motor services at Gocompare.com, said: "Young drivers tend to pay substantially more for their car insurance than more experienced drivers, and that's because, statistically, they are more likely to have accidents and incur higher claims costs. The results of this study suggest that UK drivers feel it's time to consider radical new measures to try to curb the number of accidents caused by young drivers, and that perhaps as a group they should be more restricted in how, when or what they can drive.

"Unsurprisingly all of the suggested measures to restrict young drivers' freedoms were least popular with the 18 to 24 year old survey respondents, but our research revealed that this age group are also more likely to be ambivalent to speed limits than older, more experienced drivers. With this in mind, perhaps some tighter control of young motorists would encourage responsible driving from the outset and could help to make the UK's roads safer for everyone."


Notes to editors:

Research commissioned by Gocompare.com carried out among 2,000 UK drivers on 14th January 2013 by OnePoll.

Source for both *and** - the ABI.