SEAT’s Young Driver programme improves safety

27th November 2012

Motorists who have young children may be pleased to hear that those who have completed SEAT's Young Driver programme are less likely to be involved in an accident.

That is according to a sample which showed the accident rate of motorists who had been involved in the programme was less than half the national average after they had been driving for six months.

Marketing director for Young Driver Kim Stanton said that the company's research "along with data from the Swedish Government, shows that training young people to drive at an early age when they're much more receptive to road safety messages really could save hundreds of lives per year".

The course allows anyone aged between 11 and 17 years of age to learn to drive alongside a qualified instructor.

Peter Rodger, Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) chief examiner, believes allowing learners a longer period to drive will help to produce more careful motorists.

"It's good to see early indications that pre-driver courses are producing safer drivers.

"The IAM has always felt that training drivers over a longer period of time and catching them when their attitudes towards driving are still developing is key to producing a safer driver.

"Facilitating more time to develop skills of observation and anticipation, and to build a broad experience of different traffic conditions, will ultimately save lives."

In 2002, the AA issued a report entitled 'Introducing a more structured approach to learning to drive', in which it quoted research commissioned by the AA Foundation for Road Safety Research which revealed that 35 per cent of young drivers are unsafe.

The organisation stated that unsafe driving is sometimes caused by peer group pressure, when, for instance, a young motorist's passengers encourage him to drive faster than the speed limit.

As a result of its research, the AA suggested that certain measures should be taken to improve the safety of young drivers.

It called for a mandatory break of six months between applying for a provisional license and taking a test.

Another suggestion was that drivers should be able to apply for a provisional license at 16-and-a-half, although they should not be allowed to take their test until a year later.

In a recent interview with the Telegraph, Edmund King, the AA's president suggested that proposals currently being considered by the government to restrict the number passengers a young driver is allowed was possibly not the best route to take to improve young driver safety.

He suggested that "better training before people pass their test, rather than restricting them" may be a more positive and effective route to take.

As part of Road Safety Week, which took place between November 19th and 25th, SEAT's Young Driver programme donated £1 for every lesson that was purchased to the road safety charity Brake.

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