Have wheels, will crash?

A 17-year-old P-plater received an infringment notice for failing to give way at the corner of Campbell Ford Dr and Rifle Range Rd last Friday.
A 17-year-old P-plater received an infringment notice for failing to give way at the corner of Campbell Ford Dr and Rifle Range Rd last Friday. Simon Green

NEW research has found a link suggesting P-platers who own their own car within six months of receiving their licence put themselves at a higher risk of being involved in an accident.

The recent survey, completed by Queensland University of Technology's Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety, found nearly 80% of new drivers aged between 17 and 19 who responded to the survey had access to their own vehicle.

PhD scholar Bridie Scott-Parker said there was a direct link between car ownership and increased rates of accidents with newly independent drivers.

"The first six months is the most dangerous time for new drivers," Ms Scott-Parker said.

"We would prefer they get experience driving in shared vehicles with parents monitoring their driving as much as possible."

Emerald acting officer-in-charge Sergeant Terry McCullough said P-platers were often more inclined to engage in high-risk activities.

"I wouldn't say all, but it's quite common for young people, when they first get a licence, to take high risks," Sgt McCullough said.

"They are novices on the streets but sometimes they imagine that they are good enough to be roaring around and driving on the edge of having an accident a lot of the time."

At 12.20pm on Friday, a 59-year-old female was driving a silver Hyundai Getz when it was t-boned by a white Toyota Corolla being driven by a 17-year-old P-plater.

The male had failed to give way to as he turned onto Rifle Range Rd from Campbell Ford Dr. The male driver was issued with a ticket for failing to give way.

Mrs Scott-Parker said young, inexperienced drivers were over-represented in crash statistics.

The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads 2010 figures showed only 6% of Queensland drivers held a provisional licence for the year, yet they made up 11.8% of drivers who were killed in accidents.

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