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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 August 2006, 18:50 GMT 19:50 UK
Young 'more likely' to crash cars
Generic picture of crashed car
The research found young men were most likely to crash
New figures show young men in Wales are six times more likely to have a car crash than older drivers.

Overall, the number of accidents fell in 2005 but the number involving young people stayed the same.

Men between 17 and 25 and living in the south Wales valleys or Anglesey are the most likely to crash according to the Welsh Assembly Government figures.

Geraint Anwyl, of North Wales Police, said officers saw a "needless waste of life on a weekly basis".

There were more than 8,700 road accidents in Wales in 2005 and of those more than 3,500 or 41% involved young drivers aged between 17 and 25.

Of those accidents, 12% were either fatal or resulted in serious injuries.

The figures released by the assembly government statistics directorate found that the proportion of 17 to 25-year-old drivers involved in accidents varied across Wales with the proportion relatively higher in the valleys and Anglesey.

Overall the number of accidents has dropped because of a fall in the number involving motorists aged over 25, but the number for young drivers has stayed about the same.

'At risk'

Jools Townsend, head of education at road safety charity Brake, called for restrictions on young drivers and a system of graduated licensing before they qualify fully.

She said: "We don't find these figures particularly surprising.

"Young drivers and young male drivers in particular are one of the most at risk groups on our roads.

"Three in every 10 driver deaths on our roads are under 26 despite this age group accounting for just one in eight licence holders.

"Many young drivers don't take into account lack of experience and they worsen it by taking extreme risks behind the wheel."

Chief Superintendent Geraint Anwyl, of North Wales Police, said officers had found driving without seatbelts and drink driving increasing among young drivers.

He said: "Research shows┐they think they are far better than they actually are. This is something we need top target with effective campaigning.

"This is terribly frustrating. We see the needless waste of life on a weekly basis."


SEE ALSO
Teen crash driver's safety advice
15 Aug 06 |  South East Wales

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