Learning to drive is a huge milestone in a young person’s life and now you don’t have to wait until your child is 17!
Kian is 16 and over the last few months I have noticed that he is taking more and more notice of how we drive, asking questions about which pedal does what and how do we know when to change gear, so when he was invited to take part in a Young Driver lesson he was really excited.
The Young Driver program is available for children and adults aged 10 and over – their oldest driver so far has been the grand old age of 84 and from the smiles on everyone’s faces after their lessons I can confirm that it is a lot of fun.
The question is why teach kids to drive early?
Research shows that early driving experience cuts road accidents by 40%. With 1 in 5 young people crashing within 6 months of passing their tests, anything that reduces accidents among this group must be a good thing.
For Kian though, this young driver experience taught him basic car safety, what all the controls do and how to drive and change gear, all without having to worry about all the other hazards that come with learning to drive on a public road.
We took part in our session at a specially designed training area at Haynes Motor Museum in Yeovil, although other sites are available all over the country. At each site you will find beginners’ zones and a full road system with traffic signs, junctions and parking zones. In this way they encourage responsible driving, not high-speed thrills and spills.
His professional driving instructor was called Ryan and was brilliant, talking Kian through everything he needed to know. They followed the Driving Standards Agency curriculum, which is exactly the same as he will learn on the road at 17, although this is broken down into age appropriate chunks.
All participants are given a Young Driver™ Drive Diary to record their progress which is signed at the end of every session by the instructor. Kian progressed to level 2 on his first session and his instructor was more than happy with his progress so far, suggesting that we go to Southampton course next as it is larger and will enable Kian to work his way further up and back down the gears.
Once we have done Southampton it was then suggested that we go to Newbury or Exeter as these courses enable the drivers to pick up more speed and have proper road markings and even traffic lights and road signs to take into account – like being on a real life road system without the inconvenience and distraction of other road users.
When Kian takes to the roads in August, when he turns 17, his new driving instructor will be able to see his level of experience, thanks to his Young Driver™ Drive Diary!
Young Driver use brand new ŠKODA cars, all fitted with dual controls. These cars are easy to drive and regularly top the charts as one of the best and most popular cars to learn in from both an instructor and learner perspective.
For an extra £20 you also have the opportunity to record their first lesson on a dashcam type device which we did with Kian. He does not want me to put it on the blog, however, it is a record of his very first driving lesson and he can go back to it time and again to help refresh his knowledge of what he learned that day.
I am definitely going to book him some more sessions during the run up to his 17th birthday in the hope it will give him a real head start and save him money on driving lessons by getting on the road sooner.