‘Fatal four’ causes of crashes shared with young drivers

Jun 5, 2024 | Local News

Young drivers have been learning about the ‘fatal four’ causes of collisions as part of a programme to improve safety on roads.

Durham County Council’s road safety team, in partnership Durham Constabulary and County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, has been delivering free interactive sessions to young people aged between 16 and 24.

Road casualty data between 2019 and 2023 shows a high number of drivers aged between 17 and 24 years, and passengers aged between 16 and 20 years old, being injured on County Durham roads.

In light of these figures, the council and partners are delivering sessions to this age group to highlight the risks associated with driving and certain behaviours, particularly the ‘fatal four’ – speeding, mobile phones, drink driving, and not wearing a seatbelt.

The 60-minute sessions also stress the impact these risk behaviours can have on a young driver’s license, their employment and other areas of their lives.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “Whilst many young motorists drive carefully, recent data shows that there is a need to target this age group and highlight the dangers linked to driving and the reality that comes with risky behaviours behind the wheel.

“Feedback from the sessions we’ve delivered so far has been positive, with young people saying they have learned from the course and taken something on board. We hope to continue raising awareness through these sessions and encourage more drivers to behave responsibly.”

Since its launch in November 2023, the session has been delivered to over 1,200 participants in schools, colleges, and other venues.

The most recent session involved students from Derwentside College.

Michael Johnson, assistant principal at Derwentside College, said: “The tutorial programme we offer at the college forms a vital part of the overall programme of study for our young students. Our exciting and innovative sessions aim to provide all the skills they need to be safe and successful in their wider lives. This well delivered session, delivered by the road safety team, formed one very important aspect of the programme and we look forward to working with the team to deliver similar sessions to our new learners in the next academic year.”

For more information on the sessions, or to make a booking, contact road.safety@durham.gov.uk.