Reducing the number of road accidents is the aim of a new scheme offering school pupils the chance to get behind the wheel and learn to drive safely, before they are 17.
Young Driver at School mixes off-road driver training with theory work and has already delivered lessons to more than 100,000 teenagers.
A pilot scheme saw the number of participants involved in car crashes cut by 50% compared to the normal accident rate for 17 to 24-year-olds.
Getting behind the wheel
Its success has resulted in the training being rolled out across Britain.
Training takes place at 30 centres around the country with lessons also held on some empty school play areas.
Dual-control cars are used to reassure young drivers.
The move follows an Auto Trader poll that found more than three-quarters (77%) of UK motorists think the school curriculum should include driving lessons.
Current teaching ‘inadequate’
Young Driver at School director, Kim Stanton said, with one in five young drivers having a road accident during their first six months on the road, there is “widespread acceptance” that the way driving is taught in the UK is “inadequate”.
Stanton added: “Learning to drive is no different to learning a language or a musical instrument – you learn better at an earlier age. Our research shows that learning to drive at school age halves the likelihood of accidents and saves lives.”
Adrian Harding, a teacher at The Cheadle Academy in Staffordshire which helped pilot the training, said: “We wanted students to view driving with respect and care, and not start driving at 17 with a misguided view about either the difficulty of it or the safety of it.
“We decided that it would be a good idea to expose students to driving as early as possible in the safe and positive environment of the school, using Young Driver’s dual control cars and specially trained instructors.”
If you are involved in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be eligible to claim compensation. Call Accident Advice Helpline free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone for free, no-obligation advice about making a claim.
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