Young driver safety

A lot of young drivers are good drivers, but figures show that those aged between 17 and 24 are four times more likely to be involved in a road accident than other road-users.

This risk increases when young drivers have a car full of friends.

While young people account for only 7% of driving licence-holders in the region, they account for 20% of all road casualties, with more than two thirds due to the action or failure of the young person themselves.

The most common contributing factor is failing to look properly, but there are a number of reasons why young people are involved in road collisions, namely:

Case study

Jordan’s grieving family urge young drivers to stay focused on the road

The family of talented footballer Jordan Dowson may never know what led to the car crash that took his life.

Jordan, 19, from Guisborough, died while travelling as a backseat passenger in his friend Josh Butters’ car on the A174 Brotton by-pass in east Cleveland. He had been wearing a seatbelt and no one was alleged to have been speeding.

However, the courts heard how Butters had veered into the oncoming lane and collided with two cars – killing his friend Jordan and injuring his own girlfriend. Their car came to rest on its roof.

The prosecution claimed Butters had possibly been trying to perform a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre, but he denied that.

He received a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence for causing the death of Jordan by dangerous driving – while still refusing to accept responsibility for killing his friend.

Jordan’s mum, Tanya Lofthouse, said: “Jordan should not have died that day. He was such a fun, happy character – he had his whole life ahead of him.

“The pain never goes away, but we must learn to live with it. Life will never be the same. Christmas Day for us was always a huge family party, with Jordan at the centre of it all. Now every Christmas Day, we take a walk to the cemetery to visit Jordan.”

“Now every Christmas Day, we take a walk to the cemetery to visit Jordan”

Be a good mate

You may not always be concerned about your own safety, but you do care about the welfare of your mates and family.

The harsh reality is could you live with the guilt if your behaviour led to the death of a friend?

If the driver is acting irresponsibly, ask them to stop. If a passenger is distracting the driver, do something about it.

Good mates look out for each other!

Top tips

  • Stay focussed on the road

  • Don’t mix driving with alcohol and drugs

  • Stay within the speed limit

  • Slow down in poor weather conditions

  • Don’t be distracted by your friends, phone or music

  • If it feels risky, it’s probably dangerous, so don’t do it

  • Don’t rush

For safety videos and downloadable road safety material, please visit our Resources page