June 03, 2017 07:46
Drivers who start out reckless or incompetent tend to stay that way throughout their driving life, a study suggests.
Researchers for Hyundai Marine and Fire Insurance found that drivers who get into accidents within two years of obtaining their license tend to have consistently more accidents than those who do not.
The researchers looked at 5,000 new drivers between 2009 and 2010 and found that beginners who got into accidents within less than a year of qualifying have a 53-percent accident rate over the following five years, 15.6 percent higher than those with clean records.
Analysis of 3.17 million accidents between 2009 and 2015 showed that the accident rate among beginner drivers before driving tests were simplified in 2011 was 1.7 times higher than among experienced drivers who had been behind the wheel for more than seven years.
But after 2011, the accident rate among beginners became 2.1 times greater. Driving tests have just been made more difficult again.
Beginners are most prone to side-swiping accidents (nine percent), which seems to come from poor awareness of peripheral traffic conditions -- in other words, they stare fixedly ahead.
Hyundai gauged the peripheral vision of novice and experienced drivers and found that beginners had a peripheral awareness of only 18 degrees, compared to 92 degrees of veteran drivers.
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