Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Are Male Drivers More of a Risk?

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Are Male Drivers More of a Risk?

Article excerpt

YOUNG male drivers are statistically more dangerous to other road users - and also to themselves. MIKE MORGAN reports.

IT'S a long-running argument - who is safest behind the wheel? Men or women? Young or old? Latest research suggests young male drivers pose the greatest risk in the 12 months after they pass their test.

Figures from a UK car insurance specialist indicates motorists in this particular category are nearly three times more likely than women to have a conviction in their first year.

A detailed look at the results shows other key differences between young male and female first-year drivers - and also in both sexes' performance - before and after passing their test.

And it highlights the danger of complacency among both young and older drivers.

Melissa Humpleby, of Great Ayton, who studies English, history, psychology and drama at Guisborough's Prior Pursglove College, passed her driving test in January and drives a Ford Ka.

The 18-year-old took four attempts to pass her driving test and has not been involved in an accident.

"I had about 30 lessons and I think this has helped me gain more experience," she said.

"I think boys do tend to bomb about more than girls.

"It's important to take care in your first year's driving."

In January, teenage pizza deliverer James Mitchell Burns was jailed for three years at Teesside Crown Court for dangerous driving which caused the death of nine-year-old Brandon Maggs.

The court heard the 19-year-old of Ashton Road, Norton, was driving at 51mph in 30mph Roundhill Avenue, Ingleby Barwick, at the time of the accident.

Brandon was airlifted to Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital, where he later died of serious injuries.

The little boy would still be alive today had the driver adhered to the speed limit, the court heard.

Burns had no previous convictions and a clean driving licence - having passed his test 16 months before the incident.

Six months ago, the Gazette reported how 14 people had been killed on Teesside roads over a two-year period.

In just six weeks last summer alone there were 25 collisions involving children aged under 16. …

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