Young Drivers’ Rural Road Risk Analysis

Organisation: AA Charitable Trust

Amount awarded

May 2021

Uploaded to Knowledge Centre
14 June 2021

• AA Charitable Trust launches interactive map highlighting riskiest rural roads for young drivers
• Research shows 71% of fatal crashes involving young drivers are on rural roads
• Research shows young drivers over-represented in rural crashes by 9%
• Rural crash risk varies by time of day and day of week
• Single vehicle rural crash risk varies depending on weather conditions
• Substance impairment is more likely to be a contributory factor on Sundays and in the early hours
• Worst rural roads for young drivers are the A229 in Kent and the A6076 in County Durham
• Research funded by The Road Safety Trust looked at more than 70,000 young drivers involved in crashes on rural roads over six years

More detail
This research shows for the first time which rural roads pose the greatest danger to young drivers. The study will help raise awareness of the fact that 71% of fatal crashes involving young drivers occur on rural roads.

Overall, the research shows young drivers (17-24 years) are over-represented in rural crashes by 9%, relative to all roads, with the over-representation highest for those aged 17 years (27%) and decreasing with every subsequent year.

Young drivers were also shown to face a higher risk of death (2%) or serious injury (15.2%) when involved in a crash on a rural road compared to an urban road (0.6% & 11.3%).

The proportion of crashes on rural roads on Sundays is 24% higher for young drivers than it is for other drivers. Young drivers are also at a higher risk of a single vehicle collision on rural roads.

The dataset behind the research covers six years of crash data (2013-2018). Analysts at Agilysis and the Road Safety Foundation studied 74,919 young drivers involved in crashes of all injury severities on a rural road.

The results sit behind an interactive map, which shows the relative risk of collisions involving young drivers on rural routes across the country.

Map users can see the most dangerous rural roads for young drivers by collision density and as a percentage of all crashes, indicating the relative risks young drivers face on these roads compared to other drivers.

The data is being shared with relevant and interested local authorities to help highlight those roads which appear to pose the greatest risk.

For more information and to download the full report visit the Road Safety Trust website: