Youngsters three to four times more likely to die in car accidents than their parents – survey

Ben Hamilton
March 8th, 2021

This article is more than 2 years old.

Many want to tell off dangerous drivers within the 17-24 age bracket, but remain silent due to peer acceptance

“All too often, it unfortunately goes wrong with young people in traffic, partly because they test limits and do not have much experience yet,” warns René Højer from TrygFonden

Mikkel is dead. But despite what the faces of the young men in the photo above might suggest, it is no laughing matter … even though he is a fictional character.

Mikkel represents the youth of Denmark and the reality that their risk of dying in a car accident has never been higher.

Youngsters aged 17-24 are three to four times more likely to die or be seriously injured in a traffic accident than their parents, according to a survey carried out by Epinion for Rådet for Sikker Trafik and TrygFonden.

With the help of Mikkel, they are launching a new campaign today to encourage them to reverse this trend.

Mikkel turns into Patrick Swayze
Entitled ‘Mikkel er død’, a four-week campaign consisting of four videos and other promotional material is not only seeking to make a big impression on the age group, but also on anyone who has a young adult in their family.

Technically most cars should not carry more than five people, but in ‘Mikkel er død’ the message is simple: every time a driver is dangerous, the number of people aboard shoots up to include all the passengers’ friends and family.

Following his death in an accident, Mikkel turns into Patrick Swayze to visit his friends and family to learn of their grief and frustration at his death. Meanwhile, a podcast series will talk to similarly affected youngsters and relatives.

“In the new campaign, we remind the youngsters that their choices not only affect themselves, but to a large extent also their family and friends if things go wrong,” explained René Højer from TrygFonden.

“Even when the family is not in the car, they can also be severely affected.”

Afraid of speaking up
According to the survey, 50 percent of the 17-24 age group (who travel by car at least twice a month as a driver or a passenger of a peer) have experienced dangerous driving over the past year: from breaking the speed limit to being inattentive to not using a seatbelt. 

Of these, 60 percent complained at the time, but 33 percent remained silent. Some 17 percent wanted to say something, but didn’t.

During the five years spanning 2015-19, 88 people aged 17-24 lost their lives in car accidents, and 690 were seriously injured. 

The campaign can be viewed on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and web TV for four weeks. Check out sikkertrafik.dk/ung.


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