Young Drivers

Drive like your parents are watching!

Evidence from America suggests that the combined use of dash cam footage and black box technology could cut crash rates if the information was shared with parents.

In a report “Keeping young drivers safe” commissioned by the RAC Foundation, it was recognised that if feedback through technology, which records erratic or dangerous driving, was shared with parents, this was found to have a positive influence in the driving style of the newly qualified inexperienced drivers.

It was suggested that if new young drivers believe that what they do at the wheel will get back to their parents they are likely to moderate their behaviour for fear of losing their newly found freedom and independence.

The report highlighted the dilemma newly qualified drivers face: they need to drive to gain experience but each time they take to the road they are at significant risk due to inexperience. In part this is because, like any other skill, driving skills take time to develop.

However, there is also evidence that whilst new young drivers can drive relatively safely when they are accompanied by adults, they undertake more risky behaviour when the supervising adult is no longer present. This can be compounded by newly qualified drivers being distracted and influenced by things such as peer pressure, music, mobile phones and Sat Nav use.

Whilst each young driver will be individually different as far as maturity, stage of brain development and personality traits are concerned, overall inexperience and youth make almost all of them disproportionately vulnerable on the road.

A quarter of people killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads between 2013 and 2015 involved a young driver (17-24 years old) even though this group accounted for only 7% of full driving licence holders.

A spokesman for the RAC Foundation said: “This report suggests that greater parental appreciation of what their children get up to behind the wheel can be beneficial and that a constant parental presence through technology, has been shown to moderate risky behaviour behind the wheel”.

Every parent of a young driver wants their child to drive safely don’t they?