Young drivers aremost likely to have accidents because their brains have not been exposed to risky situations on the road and they cannot react quickly to avoid them.
Lisa Dorn, fromCranfield University, who has carried out research on driver behaviour revealed that the part of the brain that reacts to risk based on experience does not fully develop until young people are out of their teens and in their 20s.
http://www.polfed.org/02_Feb10_Mag_News.pdf from February's POLICE
She was speaking to delegates at the Federation/ACPO Roads Policing Conference in Leicestershire lastmonth, where she showed diagrams charting how the frontal lobe, responsible for risk perception, eye scanning, judgement and decisionmaking develops.
She added that young people also only had a very small scanning area when driving, just over the bonnet, not looking in their mirrors so andmissing potential dangers, such as cyclists.
Edmund King, president of the AA, said that although the youngest drivers are the fittest they are ten timesmore likely to have a crash, particularly in the 17 to 19 year old age bracket.
Psychologist Ms Dorn said thatmost adults process risk through to a kind of “emotional computer”which allows us to react quickly based on experience but that young people’s brains were under developed in this area.
Speaking to roads policing officers, she added that enforcement only alters driver behaviour for three months and that diversion schemes for young people were much more successful.
Diversion schemes have been introduced in some forces to expose young drivers to risks in a controlled environment, such as using e-learning and giving themscenarios where
they have to react to a risky situation. The scheme has been running for a year and half and found repeat offending was cut by 60 per cent.
Hobbies, Off Duty, Holidays anything like that!