Trouble is, while there's been an increase in headlines that suggest teenagers' driving is getting progressively worse, and there's been a concomitant increase in hysteria over teenagers' driving, the statistics show a completely different story about teenage driving itself. As Lindsay points out, if safe driving is your criteria then the statistics on young drivers are actually getting better, not worse.
The performance of 15-19 year-old drivers has improved significantly. Twenty years ago they accounted for 16.9 percent of accidents involving fatalities. Last year they made up 11.7 percent. An even bigger drop applies to 20-24 year-olds from 22.2 to 11.9% percent. Perhaps some attention should be paid to older age groups.So despite the headlines, the driving of teenagers is actually getting better -- a disturbing sign for those who look for a bit of spirit in the next generation.
However, if it's bad driving you want, then Oswald points out where attention should really be paid: to the group making the most noise about imposing restrictions on other people's driving. That's right, it turns out that as a group the country's worst drivers are those driving politicians' self drive cars. And the biggest irony? Annette King, leading the charge against bad young drivers today is also responsible for "the most serious smash" in this 2001 report:
her car was in a head-on accident in December 2000 and was written off. The driver of the other car was in intensive care for six days.So perhaps the minister should be looking closer to both home and House before casting stones further afield at young drivers who (unlike King's family and parliamentary colleagues) are becoming increasingly responsible.