Message from the Chief Commissioner

Crime Prevention & Community Safety

Young drivers

Release date: Thu 29 March 2007

Last updated: Fri 22 August 2014

Since 1989, Victoria's road toll has had a large reduction. The 18 to 25 age group, however, continues to be vastly over-represented in road trauma statistics.

Young Victorians in their first year of driving are almost four times more likely to be involved in a fatal or serious injury crash than more experienced drivers. The reasons for this include:

  • A lack of experience and road awareness
  • Limited ability and judgment
  • Underestimation of risks
  • Deliberate risk-taking behaviours
  • Alcohol and drug use.

The risks

  • A young driver's risk of being involved in a fatal crash is over five times higher when carrying two or more passengers than when travelling alone.
  • Young passengers are most likely to be killed in a car when travelling with young drivers.
  • For young male drivers, the riskiest combination is travelling with young male passengers.
  • Passengers are central to risky driving, especially where young men are involved.
  • Young male passengers often actively encourage their male peers to engage in risky driving behaviour.
  • Many young males say they drive in a risky way to show off to young male passengers, even if the passengers have not asked them to.

The reasons

Common reasons given for unsafe driving by young drivers include:

  • Sense of invincibility
  • Impressing friends and wanting to be accepted
  • Peer group pressure
  • Going along with the crowd and not wanting to be left out
  • Don't feel they can say no or speak up when they are in a risky situation.
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