1. ITV Report

Young rural drivers twice as likely to have serious road accidents

Young drivers in the Midlands countryside are twice as likely to have a serious road accident than those living in cities.

A study by the National Federation of Young Farmers found Lincolnshire to be the third worst place for accidents. Today motorists from across the region got advanced training to help them prepare for dangerous conditions.

It is a smash one young farmer from Herefordshire was lucky to walk away from.

Robert Williams, from Hereford was lucky to walk away from the crash he was involved in.

He wrote off his Landrover earlier this year by crashing into a telegraph pole.

Today he was one of 50 young rural drivers from across the region on a special driving course at the Prodrive race circuit near Kenilworth in Warwickshire.

Robert Williams was learning how to drive in tough conditions Credit: ITV News Central

"It was a sunny afternoon, I was doing about 40mph I went into an S-bend, lost control, panicked put my foot on the brake and ended up going into a telegraph pole. I had a bit of concussion and it unsettled me."

– Robert Williams

The sessions are run by training company Drive Doctors, to simulate tricky road conditions that the young drivers could encounters on rural roads.

Instructors took the youngsters out on the slippery track in their own cars to see how they coped when they entered a skid.

ITV News reporter Chris Halpin also tried his hand at keeping a test car under control.

Here owner of the company Mark Johnson explains the importance of ABS brake systems.

Today was a chance for the drivers to have a go at being safely out of control.

Amy Purvin and Anna-May Furness say the course has helped them Credit: ITV News Central

"Obviously there is bad conditions out there, I think that it just helps us to know what to do in those conditions."

"Now I know what causes a skid I'm going to try not to get into that situation. It is quite scary, I've been fortunate, I've been driving just over a year and I've never had an accident. But a lot of my friends have had some sort of incident."

– Amy Purvin and Anna-May Furness
Robert Williams says he hit a telegraph pole after braking on an S-bend Credit: ITV News Central

The latest figures show more than 2,000 young drivers in the countryside were involved in a collision, where someone was either killed or seriously injured.

The survey also found they were two thirds more likely to crash on a 60mph road. 60% are more likely to risk drinking then driving.

The risks today's drivers were taught to look out for were muddy or icy conditions, over-taking and speed.

Organisers say most of the fatalities are down to age and inexperience.

"89% More young people will learn to drive if they are in a rural area at a young age and so therefore they are already at a huge risk.

When I was 17 I lost a friend in a rural accident and the thought of it still chills me now, and I would say you are not invincible and you should think twice when getting in a car and driving on rural roads"

– Milly Wastie, National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

It is hoped more young drivers in the countryside will heed the warnings, and stay safe on the rural roads.