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'Don't use your cellphone while driving' - Top 10 resolutions first-time drivers should be making this year

2019-01-03 12:11
Young driver with car key

Newspress

If learning to drive is one of your New Year’s resolutions, a new study has revealed the skills motorists would really like you to get to grips with before you pass your test.

Research from Young Driver asked 1000 drivers what elements of driving they thought should be focused on more in the learning process.

Sending out a message

The dangers of using a mobile phone behind the wheel took the top spot, with 56% saying they wish the message would hit home.

READ: 'More than just gear changes' - Kids in the UK are getting behind the wheel before they turn 18

Speeding and being more aware of the potential consequences of tailgating also featured highly – elements which should already be focused on significantly in the learning process, but where drivers felt the message wasn’t getting through.

However, according to the research from Young Driver, there were also key driving situations people felt weren’t adequately covered in the learning process; 43% of people thought motorway lessons should be compulsory, with a similar number hoping that would lead to less middle lane hogs on the roads. 40% of motorists thought night time driving should also be a necessary part of lessons.

Young Driver driving

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Motorists were also keen to highlight the importance of driver etiquette during tuition. 45% of drivers wished more focus was given to manners behind the wheel, such as thanking other road users or allowing people to filter in.

Getting the learning process right

One in four (25%) thought lessons on how to drive with passengers without getting distracted would be useful, and bad parking and failing to use an indicator were also bad habits drivers wished could be avoided by getting the learning process right.

One in three drivers (35%) say they wish learners had a lesson on the careful opening of car doors, to avoid dinging another vehicle.

Further areas of focus included being taught about the dangers of driving too slowly, which 34% of drivers flagged as important, when and how headlights should be used (29%) and how average speed cameras work (19%).

"It is perhaps strange that motorway or night-time driving - skills which are needed by nearly all UK drivers - are not an essential part of the learning process," said Laura White from Young Driver.

A Young Driver lesson in action

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"It seems motorists think there are things about being a good driver which learners aren’t being taught in a successful way," she adds.

"However, much of it is down to having a greater awareness of other road users and being courteous, a lot of which is gained through experience and not slipping into bad habits.

No rush to pass

"Our aim at Young Driver has always been one of safety and increasing the level of experience before drivers get anywhere near a public road," says White.

We encourage youngsters aged 10 and upwards to get experience behind the wheel in a controlled, responsible manner - there’s no pressure or rush to pass a test as quickly as possible.

Pupils are encouraged to try different venues and different times of year to experience a variety of driving conditions, and can even try driving on a motorway.

Then when they start lessons at 17 on the road, they already know how to physically drive the car and can give more attention to the wider driving experience.

Young driver with car key

                                                                               Image: Newspress

Less time worrying what their feet should be doing means more time spent with an instructor being able to learn how to read the road and other road users."

Young Driver has given almost 600 000 lessons to 10 to 17-year olds at more than 60 venues across the UK.

Lessons take place on specially created road systems at private venues, with traffic lights, junctions and roundabouts to negotiate.

Tuition is given by highly qualified approved driving instructors in dual controlled Vauxhall Corsas. Advanced Skills Days, offering motorway training, are also available for under 17s.

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