Common Causes of Road Collisions
The first few years for a new driver are the most dangerous and they will be at the highest risk of being involved in a serious crash. As your children start on this journey there are many things you can to do to help reduce the risk.
Even before they start learning to drive there are a number of things for you to consider and reflect on. Research shows that your children will copy your attitudes and actions, this is true from smoking to driving. They have already spent a lot of time observing your driving, so if you use your mobile whilst driving they are more likely to as well. If you regularly drive aggressively so will they.
Before your child starts to learn to drive you need to agree with them what restrictions will apply once they pass their test. Many parents contribute towards the cost of getting on the road for the first time, driving lessons, cost of the car and insurance to name a few. If you are going to contribute towards the cost you have a right to ask for something in return
- Restrict the number of passengers they can have in the car for a period of time, the first six months or first year, the more passengers in the car the higher the risk for new drivers.
- Up to 50% of crashes that happen in the wet involve young drivers, have an agreement with your child they will consciously slow down in the rain or when the roads are wet.
- Many insurance companies now offer “black boxes” as part of the insurance for young drivers. There are many different varies on offer but generally they monitor how the car is being driven and allow you to view this on the insurance company’s website. This allows you to reward or restrict the use of the car by the way it is driven. Some of the companies also monitor the way the car is driven and have their own reward schemes.
- The time of day that they drive also is a risk factor, particularly in how serious the crash is. Most fatal collisions that involve young drivers happen between 10pm and 5am so when they first start driving restrict how often they are allowed to drive during these times.
- Fatigue is also a factor in many crashes with young drivers. As they move into a new period of independence after passing their test so do their hours awake increase. You may have spent the last few years trying to get them out of bed, suddenly they are out all the time working, socialising or just going out for a drive. Agree a minimum numbers of hours rest before they can use the car particularly if it is a long journey or late at night.
- Sticking to the 30mph speed limit, young male drivers are the most likely group to be involved with a fatal pedestrian crash.
There are a number of student parent young driver agreements available, you can download one from www.learn-2-live.org.uk. These agreements can be talked through and signed, they are about what you are going to do in return for your child agreeing to any restrictions on their driving.
Driving Instructors (ADIs)
One of the most important things you can do is choose a driving instructor (ADI) carefully, they are not all the same. ADIs have different specialisms, skills and interests, so pick someone who is passionate about road safety and will be a good fit with your young driver. In order for learners to benefit most from the teaching they need to hear tihngs from people they trust and like, so it's helpful to match an ADI with the learner's preferences and personality.
Many ADIs have signed up with "The Honest Truth" project and have agreed that they will engage and promote road safety with their students. Click here to find an Instructor.
After they pass
Just because they have passed their test doesn’t make them a good driver it just means that they have achieved the minimum level to drive on the roads, they still have a lot to learn. There are a number of courses they can take to gain further experience once they have passed their test. Speak to their ADI to see what they offer or contact IAM or RoSPA about further courses.