Nights, particularly weekend nights, are when most accidents involving young drivers occur.
Between 2013 and 2017, 2,267 young adults between 18 and 24 were seriously injured on Swiss roads and an average of 32 were killed annually, around 14% of Switzerland’s total road deaths.
Because driving reflexes are less internalized among inexperienced drivers, distractions, such as mobile phones and noisy passengers, are more likely to cause accidents.
In addition to inexperience, major drivers of higher accident rates among this group are overconfidence, risky behaviour, and alcohol, especially among young men.
As a safety measure, Marc Kipfer from the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention (BPA) thinks drivers under 25 should not be allowed to drive at night or accompanied by other young adults. When young people drive at night with other young people the risks multiply, he said.
Daniel Menzi, a spokesperson for the Swiss association of driving schools, recognizes the higher risks when young men are together in cars at night, but thinks such a ban isn’t a long term solution. He favours, more training.
Marc Kipfer points out that the EU recommends similar restrictions. In addition, some US states ban all alcohol, nighttime driving and passengers for young drivers.
However, some politicians are skeptical. A blanket ban would penalise those who behave well and drive safely. Others question how such rules would be policed and how young adults who work at night would manage to get to and from work.