MANY university students drive while using their mobile phones, most break the speed limit, and a significant number also drink and drive, according to a survey commissioned by Ford.
The findings of the survey of 2,313 young people, who either study at university or left school at 18, were published as students across Europe embark on Freshers' Week, when new undergraduates traditionally begin a heady round of partying to mark the start of their university life.
Of those surveyed, 43 per cent admitted sending texts, 38 per cent swipe through apps, and 36 per cent take calls while at the wheel.
Also, 60 per cent speed and 13 per cent drink drive. By comparison, of those who left school at 18, 45 per cent admitted speeding, 9 per cent drink driving, and 41 per cent using their mobile phones while driving.
Overall, 30 per cent of university students admitted they had been in an accident, compared with 25 per cent of those who left school at 18.
Research shows that, worldwide, car crashes are the leading cause of death among young people, and in Europe, young people are almost twice as likely to be killed on roads compared with the average person.
Through its Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) programme, Ford offers free training for young drivers. By the end of 2016, this programme will have trained more than 20,000 drivers across 13 countries in Europe.
"Getting to university is an incredible achievement and it is also where many of us make some of our strongest friendships. But we want to make sure these are lifelong friendships and help to ensure that these young people can one day look back with pride on a successful graduation," says Jim Graham, manager, Ford DSFL.
"It is crucial students, and all young people, understand the terrible consequences, both for themselves and for others, that taking risks behind the wheel can lead to," he adds.
Ford UK's Driving Skills for Life is taking place at the Excel Exhibition centre in London on the 18, 19 and 20 of November 2016, with a morning and afternoon session on each day. Registration is now open at
Meanwhile, in a separate survey, it has been revealed that four out of ten newyoung drivers admit they are unsafeon the road and two thirds of parents agree that their kids are at risk.
The UK research of 1,000 motorists aged 17 to 24 and 1,000 parents of young drivers by Continental Tyres found that 50 per cent ofyoungmotorists would not know where to start with basics like checking their tyres.
Mark Griffiths, safety expert at Continental Tyres, said: "Every day in the UK, around nine people die or are seriously injured from a road accident that involves a young car driver. It is vital for 17 to 24 year olds to receive adequate road safety information as they learn to drive, setting them up for a lifetime of safe motoring."