‘Groundbreaking’ driver training scheme for under 17s delivers one millionth lesson
- Young Driver teaches children as young as 10 how to drive in a bid to improve road safety
- Only 3.4% of the scheme’s past pupils report having an accident within six months of passing their test – as opposed to a national average of one in five
A driver training scheme which was created to save lives has delivered its one millionth lesson.
Young Driver, which was unique in the UK when it launched in 2009, lets children as young as 10 get behind the wheel, extending the period over which they learn to drive and creating safer drivers.
Research conducted in Sweden showed that allowing youngsters to learn from an earlier age, without reducing the age at which they can pass their test, lessened the accident rate in newly qualified drivers by 40 per cent. In the UK one in five new drivers has an accident within six months of passing their test, whilst Young Driver’s past pupils report an accident rate of just 3.4 per cent.
The lessons take place on private property, at one of Young Driver’s 70 UK venues. Fully qualified instructors teach the youngsters in dual controlled Vauxhall Corsas, as they would on the road, focusing on steering, braking, gear changes and tackling manoeuvres. A simulated road system includes roundabouts junctions and traffic lights, while multiple learners create realistic ‘traffic’ to negotiate.
Pupils taking part in the scheme have racked up over 7.5 million miles behind the wheel and a staggering 700,000 hours of additional practice.
Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “There is a genuine scientific basis for the saying ‘practice makes perfect’ and we provide youngsters with more time to get to grips with learning to drive, without the pressure of passing a test. We aren’t putting unqualified drivers behind the wheel of fast cars on a racetrack – we encourage a sense of responsibility and a slow and steady approach to learning. In one million lessons we’ve never had an accident at one of our events and the accident statistics for our past pupils prove to us that this is most definitely a positive (yet fun) way to improve the safety of our young people behind the wheel.”
Motoring expert, TV presenter and journalist Quentin Willson has supported the scheme since its launch, and both his children have learnt to drive with Young Driver. He said: “With one million lessons now delivered, Young Driver can prove the life saving benefits of its learning programmes. The UK’s national average for post driving test accidents is 20 per cent, yet for Young Driver students it’s 3.4 per cent. After one million driving lessons we now know that early learning creates much safer drivers.”
Young Driver recently launched an innovative app to help learners improve their driving skills from home, with special 360° VR videos taking them from first lesson to driving test. More information about the scheme can be found on www.youngdriver.com or at the Young Driver app.
For further information please contact: Shona Nutter on email@example.com or 07714 953919.
Notes to editors:
Young Driver was established in 2009 with the aim of helping to teach youngsters to drive over a longer period, therefore encouraging a safer generation of new drivers at 17. The scheme is sponsored by Vauxhall and is the only driving school in the UK to offer carbon negative driving lessons.
Anyone aged 10 and over and above 1.42 metres tall can get behind the wheel of a brand new dual controlled Vauxhall Corsa SE Premium car with a fully qualified ADI driving instructor. Lessons take place on private property which has been developed into a realistic road system complete with road signs, junctions and car parks. A free Drive Diary helps each pupil to monitor progress. More than 1 million lessons have now been delivered and there are more than 70 venues to choose from across the UK.
All Drive Diaries and leaflets are printed on carbon capture paper and Young Driver’s office only uses Woodland Trust FSC paper. The Drive Diary is also available as part of the Young Driver App, which offers virtual driving lessons via unique 360° videos - taking learners from first lesson to test.
Young Driver Motor Cars Ltd, a subsidiary of Young Driver, launched Firefly, the world’s first electric cars developed specially for 4-10 year olds, in September 2016. These cars are available to drive throughout the year at selected venues.
Driving experiences for 10-17s (and adults) are also available in three classic cars - a Vauxhall VX490, Morris Minor or Austin 7, along with a genuine ex-service fire engine.
For more information log on to www.youngdriver.com or call 0333 577 9010.