VicPol Corporate

Young drivers

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:

  • 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

Reviewed 08 April 2019