Young drivers need more guidance and support in the first six months of obtaining their licence, according to road safety charity IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists).

Last month, the Department for Transport announced that a green paper would be published this summer looking at ways to improve the safety of young drivers. The announcement includes the possibility of introducing graduated licensing, with curfews and controls which will prevent young people from gaining experience on the road.

The IAM will be recommending to the government the following changes to help improve young driver safety:

• A tougher test to include rural roads - where young people are most vulnerable.

• A new focus on treating driving as a skill for life - through continuous learning with post test checkups in the first six months of solo driving.

• A minimum driving period during learner stages to increase exposure to as wide range of traffic conditions as possible.

• A relaxation of the rules allowing learner drivers on motorways.

IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: "Continuous learning will do more to keep young people safe on the roads than restrictions. During and after supervised learning, new drivers need to gain as much experience as possible to prepare them for driving independently - something which curfews simply cannot deliver."