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Road Traffic Accidents & Learner Drivers

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 9 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Road Traffic Accidents & Learner Drivers

If you are a young person learning to drive, then you will probably already be aware that you need to have someone who fits the supervisory criteria with you while you learn, to ensure your driving safety, reduce the risk of accidents, and increase the chances of you passing your driving test.

The criteria demands that they be:

  • be 21 years of age or over
  • have a full driving licence for over 3 years
  • be covered by the insurance policy
  • have you named as a learner driver on the insurance policy
  • are displaying L plates on the learner vehicle
  • make sure the car is roadworthy and is road legal (has applicable TAX/MOT etc)
  • have the minimum required eyesight standard

It is the responsibility of your supervising driver to make sure that you act responsibly and behave in a safe manner while driving and they are considered to be in control of the vehicle while a learner is at the wheel. So if your supervisor has been drinking or is using a mobile phone when an accident occurs then the punishment will be applied to them as if they were driving the car.

However in the case that you are caught speeding then the points and fine will be applicable to you, the learner – and if you accrue six points on your licence in the first two years of driving, then you can be banned from the road.

It is expected that you will be fully aware of the traffic laws before going onto the road. However despite this you can still run into trouble.

Why Are Learner and Newly Qualified Drivers Involved in Crashes?

Learner drivers are some of the safest drivers on the road. Unfortunately during the transition from learner to newly qualified, young drivers go from being the safest to the most likely to be involved in an accident. Reasons for this include:
  • Lack of experience:

New drivers tend to be a bit nervous on the roads as they get to grips with driving solo. Going from having someone to supervise you and hold your hand while you’re behind the wheel, to driving around completely alone can be a scary and difficult transition. As new drivers get more confident and start to learn more about the road and how to deal with different situations, then their crash rate drops.

  • Confidence and Attitude

Although some young drivers are too nervous when they hit the road for the first time alone, some newly qualified drivers are rather too confident for their own good and believe that they are better drivers than everyone else. This arrogance leads them to take risks that a more experienced driver would decide against. This type of driver tends to think that the better they can control their vehicle at high speeds, the better the driver they are, and they are often involved in 'racing' with other drivers who think the same way - sometimes ending in tragedy. They are also more susceptible to peer pressure than more experienced drivers.

  • Ability to read Hazards

Although younger people tend to have faster reactions than their more mature counterparts, they are not very good at hazard perception. Consequently, they aren't very good at spotting a child running from in between some parked cars, or a cat hiding underneath a car a few hundred yards up the road about to run out in front of them. It's estimated that more experienced drivers can identify and react to a hazard around 2 seconds quicker than newly qualified drivers.

Reducing Your Chances of an Accident

As a learner driver, the best thing you can do to keep yourself safe on the road is to make sure that you are 100% comfortable with your choice of supervisor. Don’t choose someone because you think it will be fun to learn with them, choose the most experienced, level headed and sensible driver you know.

An important part of learning to drive is learning to respect the road and other road users. This will reduce your chances of having accidents in the future, both as a learner driver and when you qualify. While you are learning to drive make sure that you follow your supervisor’s instructions, and react as best as you can to difficult circumstances. A good supervisor will give you constructive criticism, tell you where you went wrong and give you the opportunity to learn how to deal with that situation correctly, should it arise again.

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[Add a Comment]
Drew - Your Question:
Hi, slightly different learner driver question here. I have recently been doing my HGV class 2 training and had my test couple days ago. Unfortunately on my way to the test centre an American tourist pulled out from a side road and I crashed into him. Completely his fault and witness's and dashcam confirms this. Anyway I recently got my renewal through for my own car and wasn't happy with the quote. So I called an insurance broker who asked if I had been involved in and RTA within the last 5 years. I said yes and told him it was only a few days ago. I explained to him that I was under the tuition and care of the instructor and that it was in fact the instructors insurance I was insured under. He then asks me what the total sum is for the claim. I said I haven't a clue it's none of my business as it's not my insurance. I was only learning at the time. Where do I stand? Do I need to declare that I've been in an accident or not? It seems to me that it's more to do with "have you claimed" rather than have you been in an accident! The police at the time said to my instructor that he had to breathalise both of us as I was learning under my instructors, Instructions. Any info would be great.

Our Response:
Of course insurers can ask you whether you've had any motor accidents - it's part of what they will use to assess your risk to them as a policy holder. If you don't have details of the claim, give your driving instructors name and address.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 11-Sep-17 @ 2:00 PM
Hi, slightly different learner driver question here. I have recently been doing my HGV class 2 training and had my test couple days ago. Unfortunately on my way to the test centre an American tourist pulled out from a side road and I crashed into him. Completely his fault and witness's and dashcam confirms this. Anyway I recently got my renewal through for my own car and wasn't happy with the quote. So I called an insurance broker who asked if I had been involved in and RTA within the last 5 years. I said yes and told him it was only a few days ago. I explained to him that I was under the tuition and care of the instructor and that it was in fact the instructors insurance I was insured under. He then asks me what the total sum is for the claim. I said I haven't a clue it's none of my business as it's not my insurance. I was only learning at the time. Where do I stand? Do I need to declare that I've been in an accident or not? It seems to me that it's more to do with "have you claimed" rather than have you been in an accident! The police at the time said to my instructor that he had to breathalise both of us as I was learning under my instructors, Instructions. Any info would be great.
Drew - 9-Sep-17 @ 12:47 PM
Chaz - Your Question:
I'm still learning to drive, yesterday a car drove into my drivers side door as I was on a round about in the left lane. I was confused about the directions my supervisor had given so I slowed down and the person drove into me side on.After we pulled over to settle insurance the driver got out of his car and started shouting at me, and my supervisor.It's obvious that he hit me from the damage on my car but will the insurance company blame me?I have learners insurance fully comp as the car is my own

Our Response:
We can't commment on individual liability unfortunately as we don't have both parties' versions of events.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 6-Sep-17 @ 9:39 AM
I'm still learning to drive, yesterday a car drove into my drivers side door as I was on a round about in the left lane. I was confused about the directions my supervisor had given so I slowed down and the person drove into me side on. After we pulled over to settle insurance the driver got out of his car and started shouting at me, and my supervisor. It's obvious that he hit me from the damage on my car but will the insurance company blame me? I have learners insurance fully comp as the car is my own
Chaz - 4-Sep-17 @ 11:11 AM
Hi, I'm a learner driver who was hit by a van at a roundabout, I was in the right hand lane going right while he was going left and started coming into my lane which caused the collision. I had the owner of the car with me in the passanger seat who was supervising me and is insured on the car however I do not have learner driver insurance as I did not know it was a thing.
Learner driver - 10-Jul-17 @ 7:47 PM
Dave - Your Question:
Hi Was teaching my brother to drive he has his own learners insurance on his own car which I was teaching him to drive that day and a he pulled out of a parking space somebody went into the side of him not much damage to both cars just a paint work job other driver tried to settle it with out insurance companies involved but asked for to much money for the damage caused to her car my brother is now going through his insurance. But where do I stand will I have to declare on my insurance.

Our Response:
No you should not have to declare this on your own motor insurance.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 12-May-17 @ 12:31 PM
Hi Was teaching my brother to drive he has his own learners insurance on his own car which I was teaching him to drive that day and a he pulled out of a parking space somebody went into the side of him not much damage to both cars just a paint work job other driver tried to settle it with out insurance companies involved but asked for to much money for the damage caused to her car my brother is now going through his insurance. But where do I stand will I have to declare on my insurance.
Dave - 11-May-17 @ 1:25 AM
SophieJayne - Your Question:
Hello, I am still a learner driver. I was on a driving lesson last year when someone drove into the side of me as I pulled out of a junction. My instructor claimed on her insurance and nobody was hurt. I am now looking at getting my own insurance as a learner on my own car. Should I declare this when applying for insurance?

Our Response:
If they ask you if you have had any accidents you will have to declare it.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 2-May-17 @ 12:43 PM
Hello, I am still a learner driver.I was on a driving lesson last year when someone drove into the side of me as I pulled out of a junction.My instructor claimed on her insurance and nobody was hurt.I am now looking at getting my own insurance as a learner on my own car.Should I declare this when applying for insurance?
SophieJayne - 1-May-17 @ 4:17 PM
Chas - Your Question:
Hi. A pedestrian walked straight into the path of my car while I was making a right turn. I was not driving fast and he got straight up, brushed himself off, waved to say he was ok and hurried off down the road. I was not in a position to park or leave the car to go after him, as I had entered the slip road to a motorway. Panicked, not thinking straight and distressed I drove home. I rang the police to report the accident and have heard nothing since. I am now worried that I should have informed my insurance company - should I have contacted them? And will I have to report the accident when I am renewing my claim?

Our Response:
You usually have to report any accident to your insurer. Check the small print in your policy.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 27-Mar-17 @ 11:46 AM
Hi. A pedestrian walked straight into the path of my car while I was makinga right turn. I was not driving fast and he got straight up, brushed himself off, waved to say he was ok and hurried off down the road. I was not in a position to park or leave the car to go after him, as I had entered the slip road to a motorway. Panicked, not thinking straight and distressed I drove home. I rang the police to report the accident and have heard nothing since. I am now worried that I should have informed my insurance company - should I have contacted them? And will I have to report the accident when I am renewing my claim?
Chas - 25-Mar-17 @ 3:39 PM
Saddy88 - Your Question:
Hi there. I'm a learner driver who took my supervisor shopping online waited in the car while they went In but I was being honked at because I was holding traffic up where I was parked so I took it upon my self to start the car and try to park it is misjudged the gap and scraped a car down side of passenger side of door causing damage they want to claim on insurance how do I go about this as my supervisor driver wasn't there thansk please help thanks

Our Response:
You should try and claim via the insurer's claims process. However, if you were driving without a qualified passenger, don't be surprised if the insurer refuses to pay up.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 16-Mar-17 @ 12:59 PM
Hi there... I'm a learner driver who took my supervisor shopping online waited in the car while they went In but I was being honked at because I was holding traffic up where I was parked so I took it upon my self to start the car and try to park it is misjudged the gap and scraped a car down side of passenger side of door causing damage they want to claim on insurance how do I go about this as my supervisor driver wasn't there thansk please help thanks
Saddy88 - 14-Mar-17 @ 5:32 PM
Hi, I'm a learner driver and in my most recent lesson (with a professional learner driver company) I was hit on the passenger side by a car pulling out of a junction. The other driver accepted full responsibility, however, will I need to declare this accident when I eventually apply for my own insurance and is it likely to affect the premium even though it wasn't my fault?
Deebs - 8-Feb-17 @ 9:30 PM
Hi Was driving on a Main Street Stopped as a car ahead was making a right turn and traffic was busy As I moved off car in front started braking suddenly a few times We're only moving at 5mph He moved again I let brake off and he slammed his brake on again And I bumped him slightly No mark on my car Few scratches on his bumper Not sure they looked new tho didn't pay enough attention at the time Swapped details etc But I think he was trying to cause accident It was definitely braking intentionally there was no car in front of him for a good distance as we had been stopped prior This happened in space of 2 car lengths from where we'd been stopped Any ideas what I should do Think he planned on claiming my insurance
Ian Matheson - 6-Feb-17 @ 2:47 PM
I went into the back of someone and we both stopped and checked our cars mine was damage and hers didn't show any visible signs of damage. we both forgot to hand insurance details and both drove off. I phoned the police to say this and they didn't take a report as they don't deal with RTC. What is the possible outcome of this if she found any damage and reported it to the police?
Js123 - 6-Feb-17 @ 11:42 AM
Kev99 - Your Question:
Hi I'm a learner driver. I was on my own driving home from work (I know this was breaching the license). As I was returning home I was rear ended by another car. Completely his fault. What am I entitled to in terms of his insurance or getting my car damage payed for. What should I do next?

Our Response:
The only thing you can do is to try and seek payment for the damages. It will be difficult to do this if the other party claims from their insurance. Because you are driving with a valid licence, your own insurance may be invalid.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 6-Feb-17 @ 10:40 AM
Hi I'm a learner driver. I was on my own driving home from work (I know this was breaching the license). As I was returning home I was rear ended by another car. Completely his fault. What am I entitled to in terms of his insurance or getting my car damage payed for. What should I do next?
Kev99 - 3-Feb-17 @ 4:03 AM
Hi, I bumped lightly the back of a car at a round about, the driver was very angry and lost it shouting and swearing, he got out looked at the back and made gestures to me and drove of. (There was no damage)During this time I was too scared to get out and apologise.Two weeks later I again had the misfortune of meeting the same car and driver at another roundabout, (I was not aware it was him at first ) I pulled out to turn left, he was not quite on the roundabout and he then came right up close to my bumper and instead of turning of where he did the last time he followed me through to another turn off when he made rude gestures at me.( I kept to the speed limit through the town, with him behind me).Some four months later,I was aware of the same driver and car behind me,he continued to drive close through to the same turn of. I felt intimidated and unsafe with him so close.I will also change the time of leaving my work to avoid meeting the driver again. My question is, should I report this to the police or wait to see if this happens again?
PM - 14-Oct-16 @ 1:51 PM
Scotty - Your Question:
Hi, I was driving down a private road from an attraction in private grounds. Approaching the road my foot was on the brake travelling around 2/3 mph. The private road was on a decline and slightly curved to the left at the junction, which is the way I was heading. I looked both left and right. No traffic from the right, to the left a tractor and trailer were approaching. As they were on their side of the road, and no traffic was impeding my lane, I moved slightly forward, around 1 ft travelling again at around 2mph. At the junction however, on my slight move, the tractor and trailer moved across onto the lane in which I was approaching and consequently crashed into my car. Myself and my passages ended up been taken to hospital with suspected spinal injuries, the tractor did not stop but an eye witness of the vehicle who heard the crash enabled the police to ascertain the details of the driver. My insurance company have advised me I am liable for the incident. On looking at the highway code the other driver does also have a code of safety to adhere to. Can you advise on what I should or can do in this instance, many thnaks

Our Response:
Sorry we cannot give any advice as to who is to blame in individual incidents as we only have information from one of the parties.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 10-Oct-16 @ 10:46 AM
Hi, I was driving down a private road from an attraction in private grounds. Approaching the road my foot was on the brake travelling around 2/3 mph. The private road was on a decline and slightly curved to the left at the junction, which is the way I was heading. I looked both left and right. No traffic from the right, to the left a tractor and trailer were approaching. As they were on their side of the road, and no traffic was impeding my lane, I moved slightly forward, around 1 ft travelling again at around 2mph. At the junction however, on my slight move, the tractor and trailer moved across onto the lane in which I was approaching and consequently crashed into my car. Myself and my passages ended up been taken to hospital with suspected spinal injuries, the tractor did not stop but an eye witness of the vehicle who heard the crash enabled the police to ascertain the details of the driver. My insurance company have advised me I am liable for the incident. On looking at the highway code the other driver does also have a code of safety to adhere to. Can you advise on what I should or can do in this instance, many thnaks
Scotty - 7-Oct-16 @ 11:10 AM
Plonker - Your Question:
I was stationary at a set of lights and there was a car in front of me, I touched the accelerator instead of break and shunted into the back of the car in front who was stationary. The driver looked at the car and all we saw was a cracked bumper, he got quote and called me next day with an estimate of £79 plus some paint respray. At the time I was stupidly driving without any instruction and only had 1 Learner card in my back window but not at the front. The owner of the car then contacted me after I told him I was only on a provisional license, he was understanding but then told me the damage was £400. I offered to settle away from the insurance, but I had honestly told my insurance that I caused the damage and said I had an person next to me but admitted to only having one L plate on my car, my insurance was terminated inmediately. I understand the reason of the policy being cancelled, but the other driver is now pursueing through insurance. My worry is I told the insurance company someone was next to me and there was not, no other witnessed the accident apart from the other owners nephew who was not hurt as was not the other driver. Can I be prosecuted for not having a accomplished driver next to me ? It was one moment of madness going to home to get ready for work and I think I have caused a bigger issue. Future insurance will go through the roof I understand this as my fault entirely, but just want some advice please where I stand in this situation I caused

Our Response:
Unfortunately for you, yes, you can be prosecuted for this. We suggest you seek help from a solicitor or Citizens' Advice as we do not really have enough information to advise.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 30-Sep-16 @ 2:04 PM
I was stationary at a set of lights and there was a car in front of me, I touched the accelerator instead of break and shunted into the back of the car in front who was stationary. The driver looked at the car and all we saw was a cracked bumper, he got quote and called me next day with an estimate of £79 plus some paint respray. At the time I was stupidly driving without any instruction and only had 1 Learner card in my back window but not at the front. The owner of the car then contacted me after I told him I was only on a provisional license, he was understanding but then told me the damage was £400. I offered to settle away from the insurance, but I had honestly told my insurance that I caused the damage and said I had an person next to me but admitted to only having one L plate on my car, my insurance was terminated inmediately. I understand the reason of the policy being cancelled, but the other driver is now pursueing through insurance. My worry is I told the insurance company someone was next to me and there was not, no other witnessed the accident apart from the other owners nephew who was not hurt as was not the other driver. Can I be prosecuted for not having a accomplished driver next to me ? It was one moment of madness going to home to get ready for work and I think I have caused a bigger issue. Future insurance will go through the roof I understand this as my fault entirely, but just want some advice please where I stand in this situation I caused
Plonker - 29-Sep-16 @ 9:03 PM
PB70 - Your Question:
My girlfriend was recently involved in an accident where she clipped a pedestrian with her door mirror at a very slow speed whilst turning right. The pedestrian in question is a well known alcoholic who had basically staggered into the road and had fallen onto my girlfriends mirror as she made a right turn. The Police were called and my girlfriend was understandably very shaken.Both pedestrian and my girlfriend were breathalysed and as expected the pedestrian was intoxicated. An ambulance was also called and the pedestrian, having been checked over by the ambulance crew was allowed to walk away, saying that she was fine. The police at the scene told my girlfriend that she was not obliged to report it to her insurance company. Consequently, we forgot about it and she didn't report it. Months later she's had a personal injury claim made against her. Despite advice from the police to the contrary should she have reported it to the insurance company and what might the possible consequences of not doing so be?

Our Response:
No you reported it to the police you do not need to report to your insurer.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 29-Sep-16 @ 11:57 AM
My girlfriend was recently involved in an accident where she clipped a pedestrian with her door mirror at a very slow speed whilst turning right. The pedestrian in question is a well known alcoholic who had basically staggered into the road and had fallen onto my girlfriends mirror as she made a right turn. The Police were called and my girlfriend was understandably very shaken. Both pedestrian and my girlfriend were breathalysed and as expected the pedestrian was intoxicated. An ambulance was also called and the pedestrian, having been checked over by the ambulance crew was allowed to walk away, saying that she was fine. The police at the scene told my girlfriend that she was not obliged to report it to her insurance company. Consequently, we forgot about it and she didn't report it. Months later she's had a personal injury claim made against her. Despite advice from the police to the contrary should she have reported it to the insurance company and what might the possible consequences of not doing so be?
PB70 - 28-Sep-16 @ 2:59 PM
What happens if a learner driver is involved in a crash without a fully quilified driver at side of them?
saz - 26-Sep-16 @ 10:22 PM
Jules - Your Question:
A JCB went into my car while I was stationary.I have had quotes for the repairs and sent them to the person who is responably but he now wants me to send the quotes to my insurance company is this correct?

Our Response:
It's usually a condition of your insurance that you report any accident to them regardless of whether a claim is to be made. Ring your insurer and ask if you can settle this yourself.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 19-Sep-16 @ 10:47 AM
A JCB went into my car while I was stationary....I have had quotes for the repairs and sent them to the person who is responably but he now wants me to send the quotes to my insurance company is this correct?
Jules - 17-Sep-16 @ 3:45 AM
My son was driving into a car park 10 o'clock at night when he went into the side of a car. Apparently the other car had been driving like a maniac around the car park doing hand brake turns and when my son entered the car park the other car was speeding towards the entrance as if to go out. As my son entered the other car veered in front of my son who ran into the drivers door. This has all been verified by cctv and witnesses. As my son is 18 we'd rather not claim on the insurance and will pay for the damage to the other car, but is my son totally to blame?
Confused - 2-Aug-16 @ 1:39 AM
My son today was hit by a car when he pulled over the other car drove off so we are assuming he was uninsured a passer by on his bike followed the car and got a part of the number plate as he dove off at speed my sn is covered by uninsured drivers on his policy but the insurance company is saying he needs the whole number plate otherwise the accident will be deemed my sons fault is this true
Froggy - 7-Jun-16 @ 9:41 PM
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