Young drivers must be allowed to gain early motorway driving experience, according to road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

With a green paper on learning to drive due to be published later this month, the IAM are calling on the government to ensure that any new system includes allowing supervised L drivers onto our motorways.

The IAM says motorways are the UK’s safest roads and many countries including Australia and the USA already allow their use by learner drivers, often with few restrictions.

Allowing supervised learner drivers on the motorway would help them avoid some of the most common mistakes such as driving too close and centre lane hogging.

Very few drivers on the motorway today have had any training on how to use them - they learn by building up experience and from their mistakes - this is far from ideal, said IAM chief executive Simon Best: "Human error is the main contributory factor in 71% of injury crashes on motorways, and surveys suggest drivers often lack confidence on motorway use.

"This measure, plus widely available refresher and modular courses on motorway driving should be encouraged to help everyone use them from a position of knowledge and confidence. The outcome should be fewer incidents, fewer injuries and fewer delays."