Restrictions on new drivers urged
Banning newly qualified young motorists from driving at night, drinking alcohol and carrying passengers of a similar age would save 200 lives a year and result in 1,700 fewer injuries, research suggests.
The Cardiff University study, presented at an international road safety conference in London, backs the introduction of Graduated Licensing (GDL) for those aged 17 to 24 for up to two years after passing their driving tests.
Similar schemes are already operated in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and parts of the US.
The Cardiff team analysed road accident data in the UK from 2000 to 2007 to estimate the number of lives that could be saved by the restrictions.
One in five new motorists crashes within six months of passing their driving test and the researchers said many accidents could be prevented and costs to the NHS reduced by GDL.
Dr Sarah Jones, who led the research, said: "GDL works in other countries and there's no good reason why it wouldn't work here."