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Young drive more dangerously with friends in car

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Young drivers are dangerously influenced by peer pressure when carrying friends as passengers, a leading car insurance provider showed.

A third of motorists aged 17-21 admitted driving differently when friends were in the car, the poll by a leading car insurance provider revealed.

More than 20% paid less attention to the road, a quarter took their hands off the wheel and 15% performed illegal manoeuvres, according to the survey.

Also, 11% of male drivers aged 17-21 and 6% of women motorists of the same age group did not wear seatbelts when in the car with friends.

Yet nearly all (97%) of the young drivers followed rules of the road more strictly when their parents or grandparents were in the car, while 44% drove more slowly.

The poll also showed that 39% of women motorists aged 17-21 were not confident of driving on motorways, while 29% were unsure about driving on their own.

Just 27% of young drivers had paid to have driving lessons and of these, 50% took more than four attempts to pass the test.

A spokesperson said
: “Young drivers remain the age group with the highest proportion of insurance claims, accidents and fatalities on our roads.

“According to claims data, injuries increase exponentially in relation to the number of passengers being carried.”

He went on: “In order to reduce these statistics young drivers and passengers alike need to take personal responsibility for their own actions. This means wearing a seatbelt at all times regardless of who is in the car, driving with fewer passengers and not conforming to peer pressure while behind the wheel.”