Newer cars for younger drivers

Tuesday 15 February 2011

Choosing an old car can put young drivers at risk, says RoadSafe. Younger motorists need the safest modern cars they can afford.

RoadSafe director Adrian Walsh says, “When it comes to buying a car for a new, young driver, it is a bad idea to put them in a cheap old banger. Older vehicles tend to cost less to insure but this benefit is diminished in the event of a crash, as they lack the safety systems found in newer models.”

Age should not dictate which motorists have access to the safest cars, but RoadSafe is putting its focus on younger drivers as they continue to be involved in the highest proportion of collisions.

According to the Department for Transport, in 2009, drivers aged 17 – 24 years made up 12% of licence holders but 26% of crashes involved at least one driver in this age group. They were also over represented in the number of road deaths, making up 25% of fatalities.

Newer cars don’t just have better crash protection. They also have systems that help avoid collisions. ESC, for example, helps a driver maintain control in an emergency. The system uses sensors to detect when a car starts to skid off its planned course and automatically reduces the throttle and applies the brakes to individual wheels to regain stability and prevent or minimise the skid.

This isn’t to say that older cars are dangerous. Many second hand cars have good safety systems. Buyers should check a car’s Euro NCAP rating and ask about the safety features fitted before making a purchase. Visit for tips on choosing a safe car – brand new or second hand.

The RoadSafe for Parents campaign began in February 2011, with the support of celebrities including Phillip Schofield and Fearne Cotton. It aims to show parents and guardians how they can improve the safety of young drivers.

Press contacts

Adrian Walsh
T: 07887 552 708

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