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Trends in fatal crashes involving young and older drivers in Great Britain
  1. S J Jones*,
  2. S R Palmer
  1. Correspondence Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Cardiff University / Public Health Wales, Cardiff University 5th Floor, Neuadd Meirionnydd Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK


Young driver (aged under 20; YD) crashes are a leading cause of road death across Great Britain (GB) and the world. We compared trends in road traffic crashes involving YDs against those involving only older drivers (OD). STATS19 data were obtained for GB for 2000–2007. Fatal crashes involving YD and OD were identified. Annual potential years of life lost (PYLL) were calculated against a reference age of 75 for 2000–2007. Average PYLL per death per crash for YD and OD crashes were calculated for GB and Wales, England and Scotland separately. Between 2000 and 2007, numbers of OD crashes dropped 23.8%, but YD crashes only 5.0%. However, fatal YD crashes increased 15.3%, compared with a 15.4% drop in fatal OD crashes. YD crash fatalities increased 11.4%, compared with a 16.3% drop in OD crash fatalities. In Wales, YD crashes increased by 8.2%, compared with a 15.9% decrease in OD crashes. England saw 5.9% decrease and 24.4% decrease respectively, with 4.9% and 19.7% decreases in Scotland. On average each year, across GB, there were 48.4 PYLL per YD crash death compared with 33.2 per OD crash death. More PYLL were lost by YD crash fatalities in Scotland (51.1 years) than Wales (50.5 years) and England (47.9 years). There is an urgent need to address the YD crash and casualty problem. New approaches need to be considered. Many countries have successfully used Graduated Driver Licensing to reduce YD crash risk. Such an approach should be implemented in GB.

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