SIXTY per cent of 23- to 24-year-olds have had a crash since getting their licence, and more than half of the same age group have been caught speeding, a study has found.About two-thirds had used a mobile phone to send or receive a text message in a recent trip, and about half had talked on the phone while driving. The Australian Institute of Family Studies and Victorian Transport Accident Commission study also found a marked increase in the level of drink driving since the drivers were last surveyed when they were aged 19 to 20.The study highlights how common risky driving is among people in their early 20s. One in five of the drivers during the previous month had driven when they felt affected by alcohol, and two-thirds had driven when ”very tired”.Diana Smart, the general manager of research at the Australian Institute of Family Studies, said the crashes over the first six years of driving were ”concerning” but most were minor and had involved damage to property not people. Two-thirds of the crashes had occurred in the first two years of driving.The study, In The Driving Seat II – Beyond the Early Driving Years, found big differences in the driving behaviour of young men and women.The women were just as likely to have minor crashes but young men were more likely to have been stopped by police for a driving-related offence, and to speed and to drive when affected by alcohol.She said there was cause for optimism. Drivers who were safe and responsible at 19 to 20 were still responsible four years later. ”That shows drivers who are encouraged to start out driving well are likely to continue to do so,” she said.About one-quarter who started out as very high risk drivers had become safe drivers four years later. But a further quarter were still high-risk drivers and the remainder, while improved, were still taking some risks.The NRMA’s manager of safe driving, Chris Nolan, said learner drivers were the safest on the road but the day they got their licence their risk of being hurt in a crash increased 30 times.