VicPol Corporate

Young drivers

Since 1989, Victoria's road toll has had a large reduction. Young people between 18 and 25 years old continue to be vastly over-represented in our 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 reason young drivers may be involved in a crash include:

  • a lack of experience and road awareness
  • limited ability
  • making bad choices or poorly judging a situation on the road
  • underestimating risks
  • deliberately taking risks
  • alcohol and drug use

The risks for young drivers

Their are significant risks for young drivers on the road. These include:

  • a young driver having a five-times higher risk of being involved in a fatal crash when they have two or more passengers in their car, compared to when they are travelling on their own.
  • a young passenger being most likely to be killed in a car when they are travelling with other young drivers.
  • a young male driver having the highest risk of being involved in a fatal crash when they are travelling with other young male passengers.
  • passengers being central to risky driving for young people, especially when young men are involved.
  • young male passengers actively encouraging their male peers to engage in risky driving
  • young male drivers reporting that they drive in a risky way to show off to their young male passengers, even if the passengers have not asked them to do so.

Why young drivers may not drive safely

Young drivers commonly say they were driving unsafely or were with a driver that was driving unsafely because they:

  • felt a sense of invincibility
  • wanted to impress friends and be accepted
  • felt peer group pressure to drive unsafely
  • were going along with the crowd and did not want to be left out
  • didn't feel they could say no or speak up when they were in a risky situation

Reviewed 15 June 2021

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