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Teenage driver casualties 'highest'

TEENAGE drivers are involved in almost one in eight road accidents involving injury, according to a survey.

Based on nationwide statistics covering five years, the survey showed that 11.9 per cent of all road casualties were injured or killed in collisions involving a car driver aged 17-19.

This was despite those aged between 17 and 19 making up only 1.5 per cent of licensed drivers.

The proportion of casualties involving drivers aged 17-19 was highest in the Dyfed Powys area of Wales at almost one in five (18.2 per cent). This was followed by Gwent in Wales (17 per cent), Cumbria and North Wales (15.8 per cent), the northern and Grampian regions (15.7 per cent) and Cornwall (15.5 per cent). London had the smallest proportion (5.6 per cent).

Covering the five years from 2008 to 2012, the survey work was commissioned by the RAC Foundation and carried out by transport research laboratory TRL.

TRL estimated that across Britain about 4,500 fewer people would be hurt in an average year if a system of graduated driving licensing - which puts restrictions on young drivers, such as a curfew and limiting the number of young passengers they can carry - was introduced.

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "Young drivers pose a significant and disproportionate risk to themselves and to others and it is in rural areas where the casualty rate is highest.

"This is yet another piece of evidence which shows graduated licensing can significantly cut death and injury."

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