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Stop-Start Drivers – putting road users at risk

A new study from insurers suggests that there are now 1.5 million young drivers who are potential hazards to themselves and other road users. Nicknamed 'Stop Start Drivers' they are generally aged 17-29 who, having passed their tests, rarely then get behind the wheel. When they do venture onto the road they are more likely to cause an accident, so research indicates.

The study reveals that after passing their tests, one in five of today's drivers in this age group will get behind the wheel only once or twice a month at the most with around half of these driving even less – often with a gap of several years! Some of these Stop Start Drivers were asked to re-sit their tests for the research and only one in five drove to a standard that would have passed – compared to 100 percent of drivers who had recently passed their test.

The research has unearthed some potential consequences – just 45% of Stop Start Drivers are confident that they remember all, or most of what they learned for their driving tests. 28% said they remember nothing or very little! A dangerous lack of basic road awareness included:

73% did not know what a zig-zag on the road means

23% thought a no-overtaking sign meant overtaking WAS allowed

45% wrongly identified the maximum speed limit on a motorway

46% failed to identify a no waiting sign

The lack of regular driving time also has a huge impact on confidence with only 11% of Stop Start Drivers feeling confident behind the wheel. In fact 41% said they would welcome a refresher course! However, these drivers are no more likely to have been accident free than their counterparts who drive regularly. They are also more likely to have had four or more minor bumps which were their own fault! Worryingly for those they bump into, a higher percentage of Stop Start Drivers actually claimed to drive WITHOUT insurance than their younger, regular motoring counterparts.

When asked why they don't drive regularly, the main reason is stated as being the cost of running, buying and insuring a vehicle. Whether it is the economy which is driving up the number of Stop Start Drivers, or whether it is a sign of the times, it is a worrying trend. We need to find ways to encourage these youngsters to take responsibility for themselves and other road users. Suggest a call to Westhill Insurance Services, where their professional staff can find the most suitable and cost effective policy available. It is absolute madness to get behind the wheel without insurance in place, and if someone is an inexperienced driver, then the possibility of an accident is obviously higher. It's not worth the risk – if you cannot afford to legally maintain and insure a vehicle, then you must not be on the road.

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 4th April, 2011