Young Driver Focus is an annual road safety event that continues to be a huge success.

Now in its eighth year, it manages to “engage and inspire all of us who work with young drivers, helping us help them stay safe on the roads,” states Neil Worth, Chief Executive, GEM Motoring Assist. “This year was no exception”.

The importance of wearing a seatbelt

Nicola Wass, CEO of So-Mo, discussed the importance of understanding the data in detail. This will help us  see new trends or concerns emerging so we can focus our attention more carefully and efficiently. One area is the rise in non-seatbelt use by young drivers and their passengers that represent 30% of all car occupant deaths.

The technology of saving lives

Tom is a ‘Vehicle Technology Specialist’ at Thatcham Research. He looked at how technological advancements have made a huge difference of safety on our roads. It doesn’t stop, and the latest driver aids are more than just sales gimmicks, but essential to saving lives and reducing casualties.

The statistics show that around 30% of crashes involve distraction. Perhaps not surprising when you consider the vehicle is cover 30 metres a second at 30mph. New technology can help reduce the risks and help driver stay focussed on the road ahead. Young drivers need to be in the newest, safest cars they can afford.

Telematically enhanced drivers

Dr Sam Chapman, Co-founder of The Floow is a geek of telematics. His view is that the information it provides can help us all understand the issues facing young drivers, where their weaknesses are and provide us with the tools to help them. After all, they are involved in nearly a quarter of all road incidents that result in death.

Waking up to the realities of fatigue

Ashleigh Filtness is Professor of Transport Human Factors and Sleep Science at LoughboroughUniversity. Her years of studies reveal the real dangers of fatigue behind the wheel. When it comes to young drivers, this is an even bigger issue. After all, they are on a hormonal cocktail, disrupted sleep patterns, a large social life and a brain that isn’t fully developed. Their sense of risk is completely different to an adults. We need to help educate them about the need to for sleep, the real risks involved in driving when tired, and formulating good sleep and driving regimes. If your brain is tired, no stimulating drinks or fresh air is going to stop it sleeping.

The price of experience

Dr Shaun Helman is Chief Scientist for TRL.  He continues to advocate for Graduated Driver Licensing. The facts and statistics haven’t changed and they don’t lie. We need to extend the learning to drive process through a minimum learning to drive period. Post-test controls are required on driving at night and while carrying peer-age passengers. If we can’t get the government to legislate, then we need to get novice young drivers to voluntarily impose these restrictions until they get the real, on the road experience necessary.

And more…

In the official report you will also find contributions from the founder of Project Edward – James Luckhurst. Edmund King, president of The AA and ardent and longstanding motoring and road safety campaigner also talks about the need to keep up the good work and push for more change.

There’s a summary of the day’s events, and plenty of pictures from the iconic setting of The RAC Club in Pall Mall.

You can access it all here.