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Navigating the Roads: A Deep Dive into Young Driver Statistics


Ireland is home to some of the most scenic driving routes in the world, but with this great beauty can come some less-than-perfect driving conditions. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at young drivers aged 17 to 24 and the statistics that outline their experiences behind the wheel on our Irish roads. According to the RSA’s Summary of Fatalities Report for 2023,  one in four people who have died on Irish roads are aged between 16 and 25.

Educational Impact

Young adult having driving lesson | Young drivers in Ireland | An Post Insurance

In Ireland, all learner drivers must undertake Essential Driver Training (EDT) before they can apply for their driving test. EDT consists of 12 driving lessons with a certified driving instructor. The reason for this is to make sure that the learner driver understands that they are exposed to greater risks when driving because of their inexperience. Increasing their knowledge and learning how to act when on the road will help them to develop skills and confidence, that may lead to safer driving experiences. 

Tech's role

While new technologies like Applied Braking Systems (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Parking Assist may help make driving safer overall, it is still the driver’s responsibility to make sure that they are fully focused on their surroundings at all times. Distracted driving  contributes to 20-30% of accidents on Irish roads with mobile phone use leading to approximately 1.6 million crashes each year. This is a clear sign that technology can impact our driving in both positive and negative ways.

Young woman driving on phone | Car insurance Ireland | An Post Insurance

Accident insights

According to RSA.ie, the number of road deaths in the first half of 2023 are the highest they’ve been in six years. 23 people aged between 16 and 25 died in road traffic accidents up to July 2023 alone, making up one in four road deaths. Factors such as inexperience, distractions and speeding contribute to these figures.

Insurance hurdles

Young drivers can sometimes face considerably higher insurance premiums. According to research by the Road Safety Authority, road users between the ages of 18 and 24 make up 14% of all road traffic accident casualties. As insurance companies base their ratings on history and probability, the increased prices are there because drivers in this age group are seen to have a higher likelihood of being involved in an accident. 

As one considers the statistics associated with young drivers in Ireland, it becomes clear that a comprehensive approach, made up of education, technology and behavioural changes, is essential. By addressing these factors head-on, everyone can work towards safer roads for the next generation of motorists, reducing accident rates and promoting responsible driving habits.

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