Inexperience and overconfidence are the biggest problems for young drivers, says IAM poll


15 August 2013


Inexperience (86%) and overconfidence (86%) are the main reasons that new drivers are the riskiest group of road users, according to the latest poll from road safety charity IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists). Respondents also rated peer pressure (67%), immaturity (52%) and shortfalls in the learning process (45%) as being important risk factors.

Sixty-eight per cent of respondents lack faith in the current driving test as being an adequate system to produce safe drivers. There is a high degree of dissatisfaction with the current system for learning to drive. When asked to rate how well new drivers are taught using a scale of one to ten (1 being poor, 10 being ideal), half (57%) of respondents rated it as a 5 or below.

When asked about the idea of a minimum learning period, respondents’ opinion is split. Thirty-one per cent believe it should be six months with thirty per cent believing it should be at least a year.

Poll results showed support for restrictions such as stricter drink-drive limits for younger drivers. Forty-nine per cent of respondents believe that the drink-drive limit should be lower for younger drivers.

When it comes to the number of passengers younger drivers can carry, seventy-one per cent support restrictions on the in the first few months after passing the practical test.

Attitudes were more divided on night time curfews with forty-seven per cent support a nightime curfew while forty-five per cent do not want to see any curfew enforced for young people.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Our survey has shown that sixty-nine per cent of motorists lack faith in the current system which marks a clear need to review the learning process. It is clear that motorists want to see more restrictions on younger drivers, but this will not solve the issue alone. There needs to be a lifelong learning approach to driving that starts at school and continues through experience and coaching into the higher risk early days of solo driving. The more experience of driving that young people get the safer they will be in the long run.”


Notes to editors



  1. IAM poll on younger drivers run on website through July. Total response rate: 2, 283 (as of 15 August 2013).
  1. The IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling andThe commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving, motorcycling and cycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety.

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