Motorhome insurance firms will be carefully watching developments in Northern Ireland after the Environment Minister’s bold proposal to reduce the driving age to just 16. Road safety organisations have already hit out at the Environment Minister’s radical proposal to lower the driving age as most are convinced that lowering the legal age for driving would be counter-productive in terms of road safety and insurance costs.
With a huge number of motorhome owners sailing to Northern Ireland each year, motorhome insurance companies will need to take into account the extra number of younger drivers on the road before working out premiums. This is because young driver crashes are normally the result of a combination of age and inexperience and statistics suggest that at 16 a driver would take more risks than a 17 year old. The minister believes that if a driver has a longer period of holding a provisional licence before passing a driving test, then there’s more likelihood that they are going to have a broader driving experience and therefore be a better driver on the other side of qualification. A recent study of 2 million motorists found 13% of those aged 17 have a crash. This compares with 6.5% of motorists overall. But when compared with older motorists, the difference is even more startling. Just 4.5% of motorists in their 40s are involved in a crash and 2% of those over 50. The average cost of an accident involving a 17 year old is almost £3,500 while the average cost of an accident for drivers overall is half of this amount.
The minister also suggested another radical change that could also affect motorhome drivers, because he wants learner drivers to be allowed to drive at 70mph. He feels it is important that learner drivers get used to driving on motorways before they are allowed to take their test. Thousands of mobile home owners use the roads and motorways of Northern Ireland each year and if more younger drivers are going to be on the roads, it is vital that they all have good motorhome insurance in case the worst happens.