Too much, too young, too fast: understanding the risks of living and driving in the countryside

Previous research by Road Safety Analysis identified that 16 to 29 year old rural young drivers were 37 per cent more likely to be involved in an injury collision than their urban counterparts. This report extends that research by using collision data to compare the factors identified in incidents involving rural young drivers; urban young drivers; rural adult drivers; and urban adult drivers, with a view to determining why rural young drivers are at higher risk. By refining the age group to 17 to 26 years old, it has shown that rural young drivers are 44 per cent more likely to be involved in an injury collision than their urban counterparts. The research found that many of the attributes of young driver collisions are far more over-represented amongst rural young drivers than urban young drivers. Some of these factors appear to be a function of living in the countryside (rural roads, 60mph roads and not at junctions) and feature in rural adult driver collisions (but to a lesser degree). Other factors appear to be age-related (single vehicle collisions and providing positive breath tests) as these are over-represented amongst urban young drivers, although again to a lesser extent. Certain factors, such as collisions on bends; in darkness; wet road surfaces; and having ‘Loss of Control’ as the contributory factor; appear to be due to a combination of age and rurality, indicating that rural young drivers have environmental and inexperience-based challenges to face when driving that expose them to higher risks than their urban or older counterparts. Given their earlier licensure and country residency, rural young drivers are exposed to higher risks at a younger age than young people from urban areas.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 64p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01485975
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 9 2013 10:32AM