Although young drivers are safer than ever, they are still overrepresented in the road toll in Victoria. In 2012, young drivers aged between 18 and 25 years made up 23% of all driver fatalities, despite accounting for only about 14% of all licence holders.
Research has demonstrated that young drivers are at greater risk because they are inexperienced and they are more likely to take risks on the road.
The most dangerous time is the first three to six months of their probationary licence. In particular, late night driving poses an increased risk with 33% of fatal crashes among first year P drivers occurring between 10pm and 6am. However, p plate drivers do only 9% of their driving during these hours.
Make sure your learner gets at least 120 hours supervised driving practice in a range of conditions to reduce their risk, however there is more that parents or carers can do once their children have their P licence - and it's easy.
How to help your p plate driver
Research shows that parents continue to have a high level of influence on their children up to the age of 21 years. And, contrary to what most parents believe, young people generally have a high level of respect and consideration for their parents.
Here are some tips on how to help your p plate driver:
- Drive your children to and from events at night, particularly where they are likely to be drinking.
- Negotiate with and/or encourage your children to limit their late night driving in the first few months of getting their Ps. This allows them to gain more solo driving experience in less risky driving situations.
- Provide your children with taxi money/vouchers.
- Arrange car pooling among parents to transport your kids to and from social events.
- Establish arrangements for your children to call home for assistance if needed.
- Encourage your children to look for a safe first car. Check out our How Safe is Your Car? website which has a page on buying safe first cars for your learner or p plate drivers.