Intended for healthcare professionals


Safety of young drivers

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 09 December 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4614
  1. Ian M Greenwood, postgraduate researcher1,
  2. Elizabeth Box, head of research2,
  3. Shaun Helman, chief scientist for behavioural and data science3,
  4. Sarah Jones, consultant in environmental public health4
  1. 1Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  2. 2RAC Foundation, London, UK
  3. 3Transport Research Laboratory, Wokingham, UK
  4. 4Cardiff University—Primary Care and Public Health, Neuadd Meirionnydd Heath Park, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to: I M Greenwood

We need to act to reduce death, injury, and the burden on the NHS

Five years since the UK government was called on to take action to reduce deaths and injuries associated with young drivers,1 no progress has been made. Different governments have failed to follow the science and adopt graduated driver licensing. Young drivers aged 17-24 make up 7% of licence holders but are involved in 24% of crashes leading to injuries, even though they drive half as many miles as all drivers.2 This suggests that despite overall reductions in deaths and serious injuries on Britain’s roads, young drivers remain at much greater risk of crashes. They not only put themselves at greater risk, but also their passengers and other road users. This is an important public health concern not simply a problem with young drivers.

Following the science

The Transport Select Committee’s inquiry into young and novice drivers is an opportunity to be bold and recommend to a reluctant UK government that it …

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