The AA, Nitrous & Bogus Stats
It seems that Mr King would like to see legislation which would limit the ability of young drivers to carry out modifications to their cars.
If you then put [young drivers] in a modified car… then accidents are much more likely to happen.
There’s just one problem with that – it’s complete rubbish. You would have thought that an august institution with a history as proud as the AA would have checked their facts before spouting uninformed opinion to the press (why didn’t they just AAsk us?)*.
Because, since modified car insurance is one of the things we know an awful lot about, and since we keep careful records of things like claims and accidents, we actually know the truth. And the truth of the matter is this:
Young drivers of modified cars are on average 20% less likely to have an accident and make a claim than young drivers in cars with a standard specification.
What are the reasons for this – well there are several:
- Modders are enthusiasts, more knowledgable about cars than their peers
- They love their cars and take special care of them.
- The money spent on their cars is a significant proportion of their income, so they want to protect their investment.
- Modified car owners have also invested a lot of time in their vehicle – the prospect of doing all that work again in the event of a crash is not what they want.
- And in doing the modifications, the owners are getting a good understanding of mechanics, and are more likely to spot any maintenance issues too.
So perhaps, rather than calling for a ban, the AA should start campaigning to make modifications compulsory for young drivers – or more seriously for car maintenance to feature more heavily in the driving test. They should, at least, think before alienating many of the most enthusiastic of the motorists whom they claim to represent.
You can always rely on them…
*For that matter don’t AA Insurance Services keep their own data on this sort of thing?