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How schools can educate young drivers about road safety

Schools should be teaching would-be young drivers about road safety

Posted by Joe Lawson-West | March 13, 2018 | Health & wellbeing

The education system is meant to be about more than just passing exams, it’s also supposed to set young people up for the best start in their adult lives. This involves equipping them with the social skills and knowledge needed to be able to lead fulfilling and safe lives.

One of the major milestones in the lives of young people is passing their driving test, which in the UK can be done at the age of 17. However, as pupils can choose leave school at 16, to cover all ages schools could be teaching would-be young drivers before they leave more about road safety, to give them a greater understanding and awareness on the roads.

Driving can of course be riskier for young and inexperienced drivers. So, to help with this, here are a few ways this could be achieved:

Highlighting which cars are safer than others

It’s unlikely that the majority of pupils in a typical school will have a detailed knowledge of how the designs of some cars are safer than others, or how different engines and capacities can have a bearing on the performance of a car. So, perhaps explaining in detail how big engines aren’t always best and how the Euro NCAP safety rating works could be a useful way to help make this clearer.

This could help by essentially educating younger drivers to buy their first safe new car.

Regularly promoting safe driving skills

While driving tests are fundamentally designed to help make sure we drive legally and safely, but there’s still the old adage that ‘you properly learn to drive when you pass your test’. As such, lectures or talks about driving from experienced teachers with clean licences could be beneficial here.

This could cover everything from driving in different conditions (and how to do so) to what to look out for when out on the roads and how to spot dangerous driving.

Explaining how car insurance works

The cost of learning to drive and purchasing a first car can be quite a sizeable expense for young people, before car insurance is even considered. As such, there could be opportunities here to incentivise students to keep a clean and safe driving history by explaining how the costs of car insurance can be very high if they fail to do so.

There’s also scope to explain the ways they can bring their premiums down and how these can reward safe driving. Policies which offer telematics boxes, or which monitor and score driving performance are becoming more popular with young drivers, so perhaps pre-empting the benefits of these could be a useful tactic.

Final thoughts

There are some schools in the country which will be implementing similar approaches to the above but making this more detailed and thorough by covering points like the information suggested above, could be a more effective means of getting young people ready to drive.

The added bonus for the pupils here as well would be they may find it easier to pass their theory and practical tests with the bank of knowledge they’d be equipped with from such educational programmes. 

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