Distractions and Alcohol Pose Danger to Young Drivers: More 18-2



  • Car crashes are leading cause of death for young people. In Europe, young people are almost twice as likely to be killed on roads compared with the average person
  • Results showed that British young drivers are the most likely in Europe to be distracted by attractive pedestrians
  • Ford survey of more than 6,500 young Europeans shows 43 per cent have texted, 36 per cent have taken phone calls, 11 per cent have watched mobile videos while driving; 13 per cent have driven after drinking
  • Survey also shows that 26 per cent have had an accident, 20 per cent have been in a car stopped by police. In summer, when deaths peak, 68 per cent are more relaxed about their driving.
  • Ford publishes spoof video for “Blown Ups” – inflatable grownups that are designed to prevent reckless behaviour behind the wheel. Survey reveals 41 per cent take more risks with friends in car, and up to 57 per cent drive more safely with older relatives
  • Ford Driving Skills for Life offers free training for young drivers. By the end of 2016, the programme will have trained more than 20,000 drivers across 13 countries in Europe.

Research shows that worldwide, car crashes are the leading cause of death among young people, with a higher proportion dying on the roads than at any other time of year.*

These drivers in the UK are the most likely in Europe to be distracted by attractive pedestrians, and the majority of road accident fatalities involve young men. The summer period has a significantly increased risk with almost two thirds of young people saying they are more relaxed with their driving during the holiday months.

In Europe, this segment accounts for eight per cent of the total population, but fifteen per cent of all those killed in road accidents.  In the summertime, the problem gets worse as 18-24-year-olds account for 21 per cent of all deaths on the road in summer. **

Risky behaviour has been identified as a key factor behind the statistics, which also show that from 2004 to 2013, 62,000 young people were killed in road accidents in the European Union. ** According to the report by European Road Safety Observatory, poor reading of the road, impairment from substances or stress and distraction are among the most common factors in accidents involving young drivers.

Ford commissioned a survey of 6,500 young Europeans to better understand the risks they take. *** This shows that 57 per cent have exceeded speed limits, 43 per cent have sent a text while driving, 36 per cent have taken calls and sent instant messages, 16 per cent have driven without wearing their seatbelts, 13 per cent have driven after drinking, and up to 11 per cent have watched videos or TV shows on their devices.

Ford offers free training for young drivers with Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL). In Europe, by the end of 2016, the programme will have trained more than 20,000 drivers across 13 countries.

“Summer is a great time to enjoy the freedom of driving, which is as much a part of being young today as it was for previous generations. But too many young adults are dying in car crashes caused by a combination of inexperience and poor decision making,” said Jim Graham, manager, Ford DSFL.

Up to 57 per cent of young drivers also admit they drive more safely with parents or grandparents in the car, and 41 per cent said they would take more risks with friends in the car. For this reason Ford has created a new spoof video to showcase the virtues of “Blown Ups.” This fictional product is an inflatable grownup, triggered to expand when young drivers are reckless behind the wheel; and serves as a reminder of the expanding DSFL programme.

A total of 93 per cent consider they have good driving skills – but 54 per cent admit they are not always as safe as they should be while driving.

The majority of young driver fatalities involve young men, and the Ford survey confirms they are more likely to engage in risky behaviour. Young men are three times as likely as young women to be distracted by attractive pedestrians; 25 per cent have been stopped by police compared with 16 per cent of women; and they are more likely to speed, use mobile phones while driving, and drink drive.

“It is crucial that we find the right way to reach young people with these very important messages and to ensure that as many drivers as possible have the opportunity to benefit from DSFL training,” Graham said.

The dates for the Driving Skills for Life programme in the UK will be announced later this year.

If you’re a young driver living in Devon and Cornwall and would like to know more about the latest safety features on the latest Ford new car range, or find out about the Ford Young Drivers new car scheme, pop in and ask your local Vospers Ford team or visit Vospers.com.


*World Health Organisation Global Status Report On Road Safety 2015
** European Road Safety Observatory  http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/pdf/statistics/dacota/bfs2015_young_people.pdf

*** Research findings are based on a survey of 6,500 young Europeans fielded in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain in June 2016. The research was carried out by Lightspeed GMI, a globally integrated research organization. Lightspeed GMI is an award-winning global digital data collection enterprise. Founded in 1996, its innovative technology and proven sampling methodologies deliver operational excellence throughout the online research process. With more than 5.5 million online research respondents in 40+ countries, Lightspeed GMI’s proprietary panels deliver unparalleled quality, capacity and targeting.Headquartered in Warren, New Jersey, Lightspeed GMI is part of Kantar, the data investment management arm of WPP, the world leader in marketing communication services. For more information, visit www.lightspeedgmi.com