Thurrock teens get a road safety boost with 16,000 Young Driver lessons delivered at Lakeside

A DRIVER training school, where the pupils can be up to seven years away from being able to take their driving test, has delivered more than 16,000 lessons to teens and tweens at its Lakeside venue. 

Young Driver, which is the UK’s largest pre-17 driver education programme, aims to create a safer next generation of motorists and has been running at Lakeside since 2012. The scheme delivers lessons to 10 to 17-year olds, in a bid to reduce the horrifically high accident rates for newly qualified drivers. Four hundred people in the UK are killed each year in accidents involving young drivers and one in five newly qualified drivers has an accident within six months of passing their test. However, research shows for those who have had pre-17 driver education, that figure halves, dropping to one in ten. 

Young Driver operates at more than 70 venues across the UK and at each it sets out a realistic road system, including roundabouts, car parks, traffic lights and junctions, as well as specific zones for getting to grips with motoring manoeuvres. Pupils learn to brake, steer and change gear just as they would on the road at 17. Lessons take place in a dual controlled Vauxhall Corsa with a fully qualified ADI instructor and the focus is on learning to drive safely and responsibly. 

 Young Driver lessons have been able to continue over the summer with the appropriate safety measures in place – however, they are now paused temporarily due to the lockdown. The next event at Lakeside is due to take place on 5th December, restrictions allowing.  

Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve so far been able to deliver 16,000 lessons at our Lakeside venue – which should hopefully have a really positive effect on the safety of our young people when they get on the road at 17. The benefit of Young Driver lessons is that young people can concentrate on learning the basics of controlling a car before they have the additional pressures of wanting to pass their test quickly or having to deal with impatient motorists. The lessons are also beneficial to young people as pedestrians and cyclists, helping them to understand things like stopping distances and blind spots.  

“Now is a tough time for our teens, a lot has been taken away from them and so it was great we were able to restart lessons after lockdown – and hopefully we’ll be back again soon. As well as helping them become safer drivers, the lessons are also great fun! It’s fantastic to see the confidence boost in a teen who didn’t think they’d be able to do it, and by the end of their first lesson they’re reverse parking the car! Youngsters often go on to have a series of lessons and benefit from seeing how much they improve at each visit.” 

Young Driver was established in 2009 with the aim of revolutionising the learning to drive journey and has now delivered 900,000 lessons across the UK. For more information visitwww.youngdriver.com or call 0333 577 9010. 

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