Young drivers still wildly over-represented in road fatalities

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Young drivers are almost twice as likely to be killed in a traffic accident than their parents, according to new data from Australian Roads.

The research says traffic injuries are the second-biggest killer of people aged between 15 and 24 in Australia. It also said the ability to perform basic safety checks is “becoming extinct” among younger drivers.

“Our research shows 86 per cent of young drivers under 25 years outsource basic safety checks to someone else, such as a friend or relative, and up to a third of drivers in this age bracket take major safety risks,” said Russell White, CEO of Driver Safety Australia.

Supercheap Auto is teaming up with White’s organisation to try and teach younger motorists about the basics of their vehicles, in a program dubbed ‘Check It’.

By encouraging motorists to stay on top of vehicle maintenance, the program hopes to minimise the risk of roadside breakdowns which, along with being embarrassing, are a major contributor to the road toll.

In the last five years alone, 145 crashes have occurred in New South Wales breakdown lanes, causing eight fatalities and 103 injuries.

“We want to empower young drivers with the skills to be able to perform these simple routine safety checks on their own cars,” White said.

Supercheap Auto has produced a series of videos showing drivers how to maintain their oil and water levels, check their tyre tread and pressure, and ensure their wipers are working properly.

“Looking at road fatality statistics it is evident young drivers need to be educated on the importance of vehicle maintenance, and we hope this campaign makes a positive contribution towards that” said Chris Wilesmith, managing director of auto retailing at Supercheap Auto.

MORE: Road safety news

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