22% of young pre-drivers say parents are their main influence according to new research from the DfT titled ‘Pre-driver Education: Survey of Pre-driver education’. Only 16% of courses for this group currently involve parents, which provides significant scope for developing the pre-driver training format.
The survey of providers also found;
- The typical programme cost ranges from £0-£1000
- 5 in 7 courses cost less than £72 per person, providing a subsidised cost of under £25 per person.
- 57% of all programmes are subsidised.
- 73% of programmes are delivered locally
- Most programmes are delivered within school (73%) and colleges (41%) within PHSE
- 89% are delivered by local authority Road Safety Officers
- The average instruction time was 3 hours and 13 minutes
- 88% are classroom based and 47% use case studies
- 41% of programmes used some form of practical training
The study identified five key areas for improvement;
- Increase parental involvement
- Identifying the requirements of the group rather than having a ‘one size fits all’ approach
- Have limits to practical driver training. Previous research has identified the hazards and dangers associated with providing young people with the perception that they are able to control a vehicle
- Provide credible instructors with suitable training
- Encourage peer-to-peer intervention and use interactive learning methods
The RAC Foundation supports improved driver education, and has long called for parents to be encouraged to take a more active role in training young people. This new research is encouraging as it supports the need for increased parental intervention especially at the pre-driver stage. We would certainly argue that parental guidance and observation should be carried across into the first year of driving, which is the most hazardous time during a person’s driving career. The methods proposed for pre-drivers are encouraging as they promote education rather than legislation in the first instance.