New research reveals one in four teenage drivers crash in the first year

  • 402 teenage car drivers were killed or injured on UK roads in 2015 
  • Alarming statistic means that more than seven teenage drivers die or are injured a week
  • 17 to 19 year-olds make up only 1.5% of UK licence holders  but are responsible for 9% of fatal and serious crashes
  • In a first for the UK market, Shotgun - a free app powered by Direct Line - has been launched to tackle these figures head on by rewarding new drivers aged 17-25 for safe driving

Getting behind the wheel of their first car is a rite of passage for most young people. However, it is fraught with risk as one in four teenage drivers will crash in the first year after getting their licence.

Furthermore, the fact that more than seven teenage drivers are killed or seriously injured on the roads every week and that 17 to 19 year-olds make up only 1.5% of UK licence holders but are responsible for 9% of fatal and serious crashes paints a bleak picture of the risks faced by novice motorists.

In a move which aims to dramatically lessen these shocking figures, a new app has been launched called Shotgun. Available for free download on iOS and Android, Shotgun encourages new drivers between the ages of 17-25 to be ‘masters of the road’ with a combination of positive reinforcements that will give back to new road users when they drive safely. There are opportunities to redeem rewards from leading companies such as PizzaExpress, Virgin Experience Days, Boost Juice Bars and many more.

Kerry Chilvers, brands director at Direct Line said:
“There are over half a million teenagers on our roads and every week more than seven of them are killed or suffer life-changing injuries. These are figures we have to change. We want Shotgun to act as a new driver’s personal wingman beside them, to support them through those important first 1,000 miles of driving.”

Shotgun lasts up until users clock up 1,000 miles – typically six months on the road – as research has shown that once they reach this milestone they will have really improved the skills and experience they need to reduce their risk of a crash.

The app makes use of GPS technology to track each car journey and then scores the different elements of the user’s driving, allowing them to earn points based on their overall performance. These points unlock different levels of rewards.

Users will be given feedback on their driving, giving them the tools to improve and win even more rewards.

Chilvers continued: “We know that scare tactics don’t work for this audience, who believe they’re invincible, so we worked with behavioural psychologists to develop a solution which incentivises good driving and the leader board element appeals to competitive natures.”

Shotgun is not an insurance product and is available to all new drivers between the ages of 17-25, regardless of whether they are a Direct Line customer or not. Young drivers looking for insurance should visit to find out more about DrivePlus.

Shotgun (powered by Direct Line) is available for free on iOS and Android. For more information please visit

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