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Why new drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident

It is a well known statistic that new drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents, and indeed insurance companies definitely know this as you'll see by comparing premiums as a new driver with those for experienced drivers who have a clean driving licence.

But why is this the case, particularly since as a new driver you may well be performing the correct drills and practices each time you perform any maneouvre that lots of more experienced drivers have long forgotten or had bad habits take over from?

Well the reason is not due to that, or indeed to reaction times, but due to one little thing called Experience. As we know, the more you drive the better you get - that's basically how driving lessons work; your mind gets more and more used to experiencing and driving a car, your understanding of the road and the rules of the road gets better, and so generally overall you get better.

When you pass your test, it's not the end of the road. You continue learning for some time, and each set of new road conditions you experience and the more time you clock up driving the more experience you get. This is important when faced with a hazardous situation.

In a difficult situation, as ever there are pretty much just three things you can do: you can slow down, you can speed up, or you can change direction. Now, experiment has repeatedly illustrated that experienced drivers will react quicker to danger, on average, than a new driver. This doesn't mean that their reaction times are quicker, but rather their driving experienced helps them to spot the potential danger earlier, and therefore react more quickly to it.

And since you can't possibly react to a problem until you've actually spotted it, this illustrates why new drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents. So be extra alert at all times when driving and avoid any distractions, even ones that you think don't matter like fiddling with the radio to tune to your favourite station - anything that breaks your concentration on the road ahead is a bad idea.

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You are travelling along the left-hand lane of a three-lane motorway. Traffic is joining from a slip road. You should A) race the other vehicles B) move to another lane C) maintain a steady speed D) switch on your hazard flashers

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