In-depth analysis of crashes involving younger drivers
Young drivers aged 16 to 24 years are over-represented in crashes worldwide. A better understanding of young driver behaviour and the circumstances leading to crash involvement might assist in reducing young driver road trauma. The Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) has conducted three in-depth studies investigating rural and metropolitan crashes in South Australia over the last decade. In-depth investigation of crashes provides detailed information on crashes that otherwise could not be obtained from aggregate police-reported crash data. This paper uses the comprehensive information collected from in-depth crash investigation to examine the causes and contributing factors leading to young driver crashes. Analyses by age group (16-19 years, 20-24 years) and level of experience (P-plates<1 year, P-plates≥1 year) were undertaken to determine whether the incidence of specific driver errors varied over the first few years of driving and could account for the substantial decline in crashes during that time. Detailed information for 256 drivers aged between 16 and 24 years was examined to identify behaviours contributing to young driver crash involvement. Based on the findings from the analysis, measures that might reduce the number of young driver crashes and moderate the injury severity of such crashes are discussed with reference to Safe System principles.