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24 September 2014

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You are in: Hereford and Worcester > Features > Drive to stay alive > Young people dying on our roads

Roadside shrine

Roadside shrine

Young people dying on our roads

More than one in four drivers who die are under the age of 25 - find out some suggestions as to why...

Road crashes are the biggest killer of 15-24 year olds, killing and seriously injuring 8,032 young drivers and passengers on UK roads in 2005, according to BRAKE.

This road safety charity says that 25% of the young people killed in a road crash in 2006 were aged 17–25 (this includes pedestrians, cyclists and passengers).

"66% of accidents involving death of serious injury occurred on rural roads with speed limits of 50 mph or greater"

Figures compiled by BRAKE

The West Mercia Safer Roads Partnership has compiled this data, covering 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2007:

There were 1,685 recorded collisions in the West Mercia force area that resulted in people being killed or seriously injured.

404 of those (24%) involved drivers aged 17-24 (including cycle and motorcycle riders).

438 (76%) of the killed and seriously injured young people were male and 136 (24%) were female.

Of the 136 young women casualties:

  • 61 (45%) were driving
  • 30 (22%) were front-seat passengers
  • 15 (11%) were back-seat passengers
  • 15 (11%) were riding motorcycles
  • 12 (9%) were pedestrians
  • 3 (2%) were riding pedal cycles
Air ambulance

Air ambulance

58% of the young women involved in car accidents were driving when the collisions occurred and 42% were passengers (this excludes the pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists accidents).

Looking at the nature of the collisions in which young women were seriously injured or killed:

  • 66% of them occurred on rural roads with speed limits of 50 mph or greater
  • 80% of them occurred in fine weather with no rain or high winds
  • 55% occurred on dry roads
  • 44% occurred on wet/damp roads (that is, wet or damp but not with puddles or floods)
  • 1% occurred on frosty or icy roads

"Around 30% of the killed or seriously injured road casualties in West Mercia are aged between 15 and 25"

Figures compiled by BRAKE

The contributory factors most frequently cited were:

  • Loss of control (in 68 of the collisions)
  • Failed to look (in 34)
  • Careless/reckless/in a hurry (in 31)
  • Travelling too fast for conditions (in 29)
  • Inexperienced or learner driver/rider (in 25)
  • Failed to judge other person’s path or speed (in 25)

46% of these collisions occurred between 6pm and 6 o'clock the following morning (whereas only 29% of all collisions occurred during those hours).


In around 60% of the collisions in which women aged between 15 and 25 were killed or seriously injured, they were driving.

The wreckage of a car

The wreckage of a car

In around two-thirds of the remaining 40% of collisions in which they were passengers, a young man was driving.

Two-thirds of the collisions in which young women were seriously hurt or killed were on roads with speed limits of 50 mph or greater.

Adverse weather and road conditions do not appear to have been significant factors, but a disproportionate number occurred between six o'clock in the evening and six o'clock the following morning.

Collision reports indicate that "loss of control" is a major factor in the collisions, often associated with a failure to look properly, poor judgement and excessive speed.

last updated: 11/04/2008 at 10:56
created: 09/04/2008

Have Your Say

What should be done to cut the number of deaths on the roads of the two counties?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Andrew Mitchell
This research / article fails to identify whether drinking (alcohol) was a factor in these drivers collision

Mike Taffe
Bring back traffic police instead of relying on cameras which fail to spot bad driving .

crystal fisher
they should keep the same rules but make the driving test harder, more cops testing and the consequences more harsh... don't warn

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