Testosterone-charged male accounts for maximum deaths

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Melbourne, Dec 22 (UNI) The young male with a blue-collar background fish tails his way across columns of vehicles, regularly flouts traffic laws and remains a stubborn roadblock in efforts to lower the death toll on roads, statistics have revealed.

Findings suggest despite years of public safety campaigns costing millions of dollars, mandatory seat-belt legislation, random breath-testing and the proliferation of red-light and speed cameras, it is the males in the age group of 18-25 years whose poor driving behaviour have not allowed the number of fatal road accidents to recede.

The young jocks of the highway make up barely 10 per cent of all licensed drivers but have accounted for almost 22 per cent of driver fatalities this year alone, The Age reported.

In Australia, 555 young men have died on the state's roads, 300 of them behind the wheel. Almost 1000 more have suffered serious injuries since 2005.

Women aged 50 to 59 represent just 2 per cent of the carnage.

Road safety authorities believe any further big inroads into the toll would come about only with increased spending on road improvements and better technology in cars, such as side-curtain airbags and electronic stability control.

No overnight changes can be expected, Transport Accident Commission's general manager of road safety, David Healy, said, adding, ''In many respects, I think future gains are going to be built on incremental things.'' The driver behaviour has remained a stubborn impediment. Nearly one in five drivers and motorcyclists killed on the state's roads had a blood-alcohol content above .05, while more than a quarter of all drivers and passengers killed were unrestrained. Most people died in single-vehicle accidents on straight roads, the figures suggested.

The bad driving record of young male drivers was linked to other forms of antisocial behaviour with recklessness on the road possibly ''a manifestation of a broader risk-taking lifestyle''.

UNI

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