Young drivers lead road casualty statistics

YOUNG PORTUGUSE adults under 35 are most at risk of having a car crash according the latest research.

The reasons: they run too many risks and drive too fast, and if they escape with their lives – many end up with crippling disabilities.

According to the National Cooperative for the Handicapped the number of physical handicaps attributed to car accidents among young people has risen in recent years.

Around 30 per cent of the total of car accidents on Portuguese roads in 2004 involved young people aged 20-35, the vast majority young men.

Serious injuries are more likely to be registered in the 20-24 age bracket – representing 17 per cent of the total. But the 24-29 age group registered the highest number of deaths.

“Driving a car is for a young man equated with being sexy and masculine while ‘souping’ them up and customising them beyond their normal capacity is popular but dangerous, and heightens the chances of accidents,” claims the organisation’s president Manuel João Ramos.

In 2004, 600 young people were seriously injured in road traffic accidents, although nationwide the annual figures for accidents on the roads in all age groups is dropping. This is thanks to better awareness, major road traffic safety campaigns, police vigilance and road traffic safety initiatives. CG