Car accidents are the leading cause of deaths among young people globally and technology is partly to blame, new research suggests.
A survey conducted by Ford indicates that remarkably, 90 per cent of young drivers in the UK think they are safer than everyone else, but nearly half (43%) have texted while driving, almost a third (29%) have taken non-handsfree calls and one in ten (11%) have watched mobile videos while at the wheel.
As many as 62,000 young people were killed in road accidents in the European Union between 2004 and 2013.
Drivers aged between 18 and 24-years-old make up 8% of the population in Europe, but account for 15% of those killed in road accidents. In summer, young people account for 21% of all deaths on the road.
The European Road Safety Observatory reports that poor reading of the road and impairment from substances or stress and distraction are the most common causes of accidents among young people.
In addition to being distracted by technology, almost a quarter have admitted to driving home from a party after having three drinks.
More fatalities of young drivers involve men than women and the survey confirmed that young male drivers in Europe were more likely to take risks on the road.
The survey found they were more likely to use mobiles, speed and drink drive.
Ford offers free training for young drivers with Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) and has trained more than 20,000 drivers so far.
Jim Graham, manager of DFSL, said: “Summer is a great time to enjoy the freedom of driving, which is as much a part of being young today as it was for previous generations. But too many young adults are dying in car crashes caused by a combination of inexperience and poor decision making.”
More than 6,500 young Europeans from United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain were surveyed last month.
Think provides road safety information for road users.