This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Life Learning To Drive

Emily Jenkinson investigates how parents can help their children learn

Youngdrivers T

to drive more safely, while at the same time, reduce the insurance costs

here can be few things more worrying for parents than when their children start to drive, and they have good

reason to worry. Research suggests that an 18 year-old driver is more than three times more likely to be involved in a crash than a 48 year-old and that one in five new drivers crashes within the first six months of taking to the road. In response, insurance premiums for young drivers continue to rise with young male drivers – who pose the biggest threat to road safety – bearing the brunt of these costs. But why are these drivers so at risk and what can be done to make them safer? According to research carried

out by Aviva, the largest insurance provider in the UK, peer pressure, not wearing seatbelts and poor training are all major factors in the numbers of young drivers killed on the nation’s roads. Meanwhile, one in ten young

drivers questioned claimed that, even though they had gained a license, they wouldn’t have given themselves a pass when they took their driving test. George Miller, 18, from Cokethorpe School in Oxfordshire, who passed his test first time, aged 17, agrees: “There were a few things that I would have failed myself on - definitely.” ‘The driving test has got harder

but it’s still not good enough to protect young drivers,” says Ellen Booth, a campaigns officer for Brake, the road safety charity. In its long-running campaign, “Licence to Kill”, Brake proposes a “graduated licensing” scheme that would allow novice drivers to build up their driving skills over three stages. This would involve: a learner period for a minimum of 12 months; a novice period of two years, during which time there

74 FirstEleven Autumn 2011

would be restrictions placed on the driver; plus compulsory curriculum education on the dangers of driving. Extending the learner period has reduced crashes in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and parts of America. Meanwhile, researchers at Cardiff University said last year that graduated driver licensing for those aged 17-19 could save more than 200 lives and result in 1,700 fewer serious injuries per annum. For the time being, however –

while road safety experts debate the enforceability of such legislation – our young drivers are still at risk. So how can we make them safer? In the US there is research to suggest that parental attitudes influence their child’s behaviour and that, by exerting some conditions and control over their teenager’s driving, risk can be reduced. One mother I spoke to said that she and her husband won’t let their son have his own car until he’s left school and will “definitely impose limits”. These will include restricting him to one friend only when he’s driving, and stopping him taking lifts with inexperienced driver friends. “It is a lack of independent

driving experience, rather than age which is the dominant factor in the number of accidents involving new drivers,” agrees The Driving Standards Agency (DSA), which recommends 45 hours professional lessons - plus another 22 hours of private practice. Its Pass Plus scheme, which focuses on driving in different conditions, is an increasingly popular way for young drivers to build on experience and reduce their insurance premiums. Parents, too, have a responsibility to get involved with teaching their

children to drive, according to Aviva, which offers an online guide for parents: The Road to Success. This is based on research that reveals over a quarter of young drivers who did not practice driving with their parents had an accident that required an insurance claim within the first year of passing their test. John Frank, who runs Prontopass

driving school around the Wigan, Preston Blackburn area, focuses on lessons: “I don’t allow people to take the test in my car until they’re ready. There are a lot of instructors

Graduated driver licensing for those aged 17-19 could save more

than 200 lives every year Cardiff University

out there who’ll say, ‘oh go on, you take your test,’ but if someone did manage to slip through, and they’re not ready, it’s a danger for the rest of us, isn’t it?” The key to safety, he says, is in changing young drivers’

attitude. A 17 year-old that shows they can pass the test is at the required standard. A sense of personal

responsibility and a better attitude to road safety in young drivers can be achieved by better education in schools, says Rob Ffyfe, a driving instructor with RED Driving School. While there is a smattering of education out there – the DSA visits schools to

deliver its Arrive Alive Road Safety Programme, as do county council


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84