Why do P-platers crash?

The top four reasons why P-platers crash and how to avoid them.

Receiving your licence is a great feeling but being an attentive driver doesn’t end when you swap your L-plates for P-plates.

In fact, young drivers (under 25 years old) are over-represented in crash data and are 60% more likely to be in a serious crash than any other group of drivers.

To avoid this, it’s important to be able to recognise risky situations and how to avoid them.

Below are the top four reasons P-platers find themselves in a crash – these are often caused by a combination of inexperience, overconfidence and deliberate risk-taking.

  1. Loss of control crashes due to speeding or distraction.
  2. Turning right at an intersection.
  3. Cross traffic crashes when cars are going over several lanes.
  4. Rear end crashes where a following vehicle hits the vehicle in front.

Ways to avoid a road crash

Before you get in the car, always HALT – ask yourself if you are Hungry, Angry, Lost (head is somewhere else) or Tired?

Resolving these issues before you drive will ensure that every time you hop in the car, you are giving yourself the best chance to identify potential hazards and avoid being in a crash. 

Another strategy to avoid ending up in a crash is to “drive like a boss”. That is, create rules in your car for example who chooses the music and how much interaction is safe.

Consider what your passengers are doing and saying in your car and stand your ground to keep your rules in place. You could do this by giving your passengers jobs e.g. snack manager, navigator or DJ.

And if you find yourself in a breakdown or crash, just remember HazMAP:

Haz – Put your hazards on to tell other road users that something is wrong.

M – Move the vehicle to the safest place – provided it is safe to do so.

A – Assess if it’s safest to stay in the car or get out and wear your seatbelt if you stay in the car.

P – Phone someone for help.

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