Top Winter Road Safety Tips for Young Drivers
Ah, winter. For many of us, it's one of the most exciting times of year. It's a time for presents, parties, and getting together with people we haven't seen all year to celebrate the holidays.
Yet in all that excitement, it's important to slow down and take a moment to consider how safe we are as we're driving around to said parties, get-togethers, and present-buying expeditions.
After all, those long, dark nights and hazardous winter weather conditions mean that there's a greater chance of getting into an accident in winter than at any other time of the year.
This is particularly true for young drivers and annual statistics show are the most at risk.
Accordingly to road safety charity Brake, drivers aged 17-24 are more likely to crash than older drivers, with one in four drivers aged 18-24 likely to crash within two years of passing their test. Meanwhile, young drivers aged 16-19 are three times as likely to die in a crash than drivers in their 40s. Latest car accident statistics 2019 from Carefulcents.com
Why are Young Drivers More Likely to be Involved in Road Accidents?
According to research, a combination of factors puts 17-24 years at a greater risk of being in an accident, with youth and inexperience typically topping the list. Researchers at NIH's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the University of California found that our pre-frontal cortex - the part of the brain which controls impulses and asses risk- doesn't fully develop until we're in our mid-20s, meaning younger drivers have a much greater propensity for taking unnecessary risks such as speeding, drink or drug driving, or driving without a seatbelt.
Then there's the experience factor to consider.
A basic lack of experience means younger drivers aren't as skilled at identifying and assessing hazards as early as they will be once they've spent a few more years out on the road.
Other factors play a part too, especially when it comes to the vehicle itself.
Younger Drivers in Older Cars
As many of us no doubt remember from buying our first car, cost is usually a top priority for younger drivers. Budget constraints mean they have little choice but to opt for older models that have less advanced safety and crash protection features than newer vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers of cars that are four to seven years old are 10% more likely to be fatally injured in a crash than those driving a car three years old or newer.
They also report that if a car is 18+ years old, then the chances of a fatality increase to a staggering 71%. This is because safety technology was not as advanced then as it is now.
The Cost of Repairs
Of course, it isn't just the initial cost of the car itself that plays a part here.
As all drivers inevitably do, young people will eventually find that their car needs repairs or replacements, yet with a limited budget, they are more likely to forgo manufacturer-approved parts and processes in favour of cheaper options.
As you can imagine, this in itself can increase the risk of future accidents. Lightening does indeed strike twice…. And more often than you think.
Staying Safe in Winter: Top Tips for Younger Drivers
While all of this may sound scary, there are lots of steps that you -or a young driver you know- can take to stay safe on the road this winter.
At MG Cannon, your safety is always our top priority.
After all, while we can always repair your car, we can't repair the lives taken or ruined by a road traffic accident.
We’ve put together the following top tips to help you stay safe this winter.
Check the Weather and Prepare Properly
Before you go anywhere, check the weather forecast. Be mindful of conditions like ice, fog, and heavy rain. If you do have to go out in these conditions, give yourself extra time so that you can drive slower and be plenty vigilant on the road.
Plan Alternative Routes
If your normal route includes unlit country roads or challenging conditions, consider how you can get where you're going by taking a safer, better-lit option.
Use Your Lights Properly
The RAC advises turning dipped headlights on an hour before sunset and keeping them on until an hour after sunrise to ensure you're always visible to other road users.
On unlit roads, use your full beam to help you see better, but move back to dipped lights when you see another car so that you don't dazzle the driver.
Carry Out a Winter Maintenance Check
If you don't have time to get your car serviced, carry out your own winter maintenance checks.
- Are your lights clean and in good working order?
- Is your battery fully charged?
- Are your tyres properly inflated and in good condition?
As tempting as it is to save a few quid on repairs, you really can't put a price on your safety.
Yes, but all bodyshops and bodyshop repairs are the same….. aren’t they?
At MG Cannon, not only is all the work we do manufacturer-approved, but we also provide a lifetime guarantee on all our repairs and paintwork. This maintains your car's warranty, residual value and most importantly of all, your future safety in case lightening strikes twice.
To find out more about how we can help you stay safe on the road this winter contact us today.