ALMOST two-thirds of teens in Dorset already know someone who has been killed or injured in a road crash by the time they are old enough to drive, shocking statistics published today show.

The study, carried out by the AA, found that 60 per cent of 16 and 17-year-olds knew at least one road casualty and most also believed that it was down to them to cut deaths and injuries.

According to Dorset Road Safe statistics, last year a quarter of the 26 people killed and 352 seriously injured on Dorset’s roads were aged 16-25.

On May 22 this year, 19-year-old Steven Parsons died when his modified Seat Leon Cupra hit a tree on the A35 Christchurch bypass. An inquest last month heard that he was driving at more than 100mph.

In June 2009, William Johnston, 19, was killed in a head-on crash as he overtook a lorry on the A31 at Stag Gate. Donald Williams, 72, died in the car coming the other way.

In December 2008, Grace Selby, 18, was killed on the A354. In November 2005, Natalie Rondeau was just 14 years old when she died as a rear-seat passenger in a car driven by a 19-year-old that ploughed into a tree in King’s Park, Bournemouth.

Speaking to teenagers at her daughter’s school, St Peter’s in Southbourne, last year, mum Sue Parker said that the events were “every mother’s worst nightmare”.

AA Driving School director Simon Douglas said: “Young people are clear that it’s up to them to act and that better learning is key.

“A test pass in itself does not guarantee a safe attitude behind the wheel, and it’s this potentially fatal gap that we now aim to help young drivers bridge.”

The AA carried out the study to support a BTEC driver qualification.