Latest research has revealed that one in five newly qualified young drivers will have an accident within the first six months of passing their test.

According to research from the RAC foundation, an independent charity dedicated to exploring transport policy, including road safety, 234 teenage car passengers were killed or seriously injured in a road traffic accident during 2013 where a teenage driver (17-19 years old) was behind the wheel. This figure rose to 2,144 when all injuries were taken into account.

Teenage drivers make up only 1.5% of full licence holders, but are involved in 12% of serious road traffic accidents where someone is seriously injured or killed.

Melanie Williams, a senior serious injury solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors’ London office, said: “To learn that such a significant proportion of new young drivers will be involved in a road traffic accident in the first six months of being qualified to drive is as sobering as it is tragic.

“The devastation caused by a road traffic accident is felt full force by those directly involved in the collision, as well as their network of family and friends.

“Countries across Europe have trialled and introduced graduated or phased driving tests for young drivers, providing them with the opportunity to develop skills and experience over a longer period of time. Given the seriousness of these figures, the UK now needs to explore the benefits of an alternative driving licence system and new ways of testing in a bid to reduce the number of needless deaths on our roads.”