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Young Drivers

Despite making up only about 16 per cent of all drivers, teens and young adults represent almost a third of annual road deaths.

Within the Cumberland area, drivers younger than 25 years of age were involved in 20.2% of crashes, 18.9% of casualty crashes and 23.5% of tow-away crashes in 2016.

Involvement of young drivers (17 to 25) in all rear end crashes was 25.2% over the last 3 years and they were more likely to be involved in speeding then fatigue crashes.

Common Type of Crashes for Young Drivers

The most common types of crashes include:

  • Accidents when your vehicle hits the rear of another vehicle.
  • Collision turning right at intersections.
  • Being hit by a right-turning vehicle.
  • Being run off the road.

Risk-taking behaviour is a major cause of young people being involved in road accidents. Evidence suggests that driving experience is the factor behind a drop in crash rates.

Crash risk (a risk related to the occurrence of a road accident) is highest early in the probationary licence period. After 6 to 8 months of driving the crash risk almost halves and decreases with time. Between 50% to 70% of new driver crashes are the result of skill errors – a direct result of not enough driver experience.

How to Become a Better Driver

When you learn to drive, it’s more about the quality of driving lessons than the quantity. The NSW Graduated Licencing Scheme requires you to do 120 hours. But you can earn 20 log book hours if you complete the Safer Drivers Course.

If you also take 10 hours of professional driving lessons, you’ll receive a further 20 hours of credit on top of the 10 hours you drive during those lessons.

Safer Drivers Course

The Safer Drivers Course helps young drivers on their L's prepare for driving solo when they get their P plates. The NSW Government offers 1000 free places on the Safer Drivers Course each year to help young learner drivers from disadvantaged backgrounds and Aboriginal communities.

Visit the Roads and Maritime Services website to learn more about the course, where it’s offered in the Cumberland area and if you are eligible for a free place.

Driving in Different Road Conditions

Becoming a better driver is all about experience and the more lessons you have when you’re supervised by a skilled driver, the more confident you will be on the road when you take to the streets by yourself. It’s also about learning to drive in different conditions such as:

  • Weather
  • Road types such as tollways and major highways
  • Alternative routes
  • Times of the day
  • Driving into the sun

Driving with an experienced driver can help develop your driving skills and how to deal with unanticipated situations such as a pedestrian walking in front of the road in front of you or a car unexpectedly pulling up in front of you. A good driver knows how to avoid situations that can lead to a crash.

Practice Makes Perfect

The more practice you get now, the less likely you are to be involved in a bad crash when you do get your P plates. Make it your goal to get the most experience you can from your time as a learner driver.

It’s all about your future. More hours now – less risk later. More quality hours - less risk later.

How We Can Help

Contact our Road Safety Officer via email rso@cumberland.nsw.gov.au to find out more about any road safety workshops we are running or to find out about more about our commitment to keeping our young drivers safe on our roads.