A new campaign to reduce the number of deaths of young drivers on rural roads in the UK was launched recently. The launch was organised by one of the largest rural youth organisations in the UK, the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC), and was supported by leading rural insurer and ICMIF member NFU Mutual. The Young Farmers’ campaign was launched as part of the November Road Safety week in the UK.
The Drive it Home campaign was launched at a UK driving centre where young racing drivers took young farmers out on a special “wet grip” driving track to give them a greater understanding of the risks of driving on challenging road surfaces such as mud, snow and ice and how to reduce those risks when they are driving.
Statistics show that young drivers in rural areas are 37% more likely to have a collision which results in some form of injury on a rural road than those who live in an urban area (UK Road Safety Analysis 2012). The majority of NFYFC’s 24,000 members live and work in rural communities which puts them in a high risk category for traffic accidents on rural roads. The lack of public transport in many of these areas means many NFYFC members have little option but to start driving young.
The campaign aims to create hundreds of rural driving ambassadors who can speak to young people in their own language and inspire a generation of drivers about the inherent risks and responsible driving skills needed on rural roads.
The Association of British Insurers research shows that over a quarter (27%) of motor personal injury insurance claims over £500,000 resulted from a crash involving a driver aged between 17-24.
Jeremy Diston Chief Underwriting Manager, NFU Mutual Group said:
“By working with the NFYFC on the Drive It Home Campaign we hope we can create hundreds of ‘rural driving ambassadors.’ As the UK’s leading rural insurer NFU Mutual understands the needs and concerns of those living in rural areas, and is determined to take a proactive approach in helping them to tackle the issues which affect them most.
“Nowhere is this more important than in the area of rural road safety where by working with communities to change driver behaviour and campaigning for wider safety improvements we can literally save lives and prevent serious injuries.”