Skip to main content

Young Drivers: The Road to Safety

Share/Save

Traffic crashes are the single greatest killer of those aged 15-24 in OECD, and many ECMT, countries. In the OECD alone about 25 000 people in this age group die in crashes every year. In many countries, about 20% to 30% of total fatal crashes involve a young driver. For every young driver killed, more than 1.3 other people likely also die in the same crashes. Thus, young drivers pose a greater risk than other drivers to themselves, their passengers and other road users. This problem imposes substantial costs on individuals, families and societies. This report provides an overview of the scope of the problem of young driver risk, its primary causes and concrete options to combat it.

The high levels of young driver risk result from factors of inexperience and age. In addition, crash and fatality levels are particularly pronounced among young men. There is no single solution. Rather, the goal of reduced young driver crashes must be pursued through a combination of countermeasures involving the licensing process, training and learning methods, enforcement, education and communication, and technology. These actions will require leadership and commitment, as well as a clear understanding of the costs and benefits of action.