A Driving Instructor's Blog

I noticed someone on a forum comment that 20% of newly qualified drivers under 25 have aThe Tip Of The Icebergn accident in the first six months of driving – therefore the remaining 80% are totally safe and responsible.

This shows a complete lack of understanding of the problem due to gross oversimplification of the statistics.

The fact that 20% of them have accidents is just the tip of the iceberg – the part that you can see. Under the waterline is the larger number who get away without having accidents, and yet who still behave recklessly or in an unsafe or inexperienced manner.

The only reason many of these people don’t have accidents is because of the evasive action taken by more experienced drivers. I frequently have to slow down to let some juvenile tosser in a Corsa with blacked-out windows and loud exhaust pipe cut in after they’ve overtaken at traffic lights when they shouldn’t have, or decided to turn left and need to cut across several lanes because they’ve approached a junction at speed in the right hand one. The reason they didn’t have an accident is because of me, not them. And I am far from unique in these experiences.

Every prat who turns a corner on a sixpence, believing themselves to be clever, is an accident waiting to happen, with their tiny, racing-car steering wheel, dropped suspension, and blue LEDs. Their underlying attitude and experience is the problem – not the basic percentage who actually get caught out and have accidents. In fact, even “nice kids” are capable of succumbing to this attitude thing because it isn’t something they set out to do on purpose – it goes with being young and immature. And new drivers are automatically inexperienced, by definition – no matter how “good” or “nice” they are. You don’t give a loaded gun to someone who is diagnosed as a psychopath, so why give the inexperienced and immature driver free access to a fast car? Restrictions are urgently needed.

And that’s why any legislation MUST apply to the entire group. Individuals who get caught driving dangerously should have a whole heap of further legislation bear down on them. And all legislation must ignore any namby-pamby rhetoric about rights of the majority and deal with these fundamental issues of attitude and inexperience.

It’s frightening that ADIs build up such a supposed relationship with their pupils that they feel they have to defend them as being blameless, or that legislation would victimise them unfairly. Every single young, new driver is capable of having a serious accident as a direct result of being young and inexperienced! The statistics prove it – if you understand them.

As I say, the recorded number accidents is just the very tip of the iceberg.

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