On the road to safer driving – driving lessons for 10-17 year olds to launch in Blackburn

A driver training course which allows 10-year olds to get behind the wheel in a bid to create a safer next generation of drivers, is to launch at Ewood Park.

Young Driver, which provides driving lessons for 10-17 year olds, will be running events at the home of Blackburn Rovers Football Club from Sunday 16th February. The large space of car park H will be transformed into a realistic road system on selected weekend dates so youngsters can work on a range of driving skills and manoeuvres.

Young Driver is the UK’s largest provider of pre-17 driving lessons, having delivered over 750,000 lessons at more than 70 venues across the country. Youngsters have lessons in dual controlled Vauxhall Corsas, with highly qualified approved driving instructors – with the aim of extending the learning period to create a safer next generation of newly qualified drivers.

A road system is created, with traffic signs, roundabouts and junctions, along with special areas to practice manoeuvres such as steering control and parking. The emphasis of the lessons is on safety and fun and encouraging youngsters to consider how to drive responsibly, giving them time to perfect driving skills such as gear changes, braking and steering without the pressures of public roads.

Shockingly, one in five newly qualified drivers crashes within six months of passing their test, rising to 40 per cent of 17-year old males. Only eight per cent of drivers are aged 17 – 24 and yet they account for a worrying 30 per cent of people who are killed in cars every year.

But for those who have taken a Young Driver course, the rate of accidents in that worrying first six months drops by more than a half, to fewer than one in ten. A survey of almost 2,000 UK parents showed that 42 per cent of mums and dads said that keeping their child safe on the roads is one of their greatest parental concerns*.

Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “We are really excited to be launching at Ewood Park and bringing Young Driver to Blackburn for the first time. The venue will provide plenty of opportunities for youngsters to try out lots of different driving skills and techniques – whether they’re a beginner or have already had a few lessons at one of our other venues.

“Clearly something needs to be done to tackle the seriously high accident rates of our young drivers, as almost 1,300 17-24 year olds are killed or seriously injured in road accidents each year. Research shows that training drivers over a longer period of time and catching youngsters when their attitudes towards driving are still developing is key to producing safer drivers. This allows youngsters to have a solid understanding of how to drive a car before they get anywhere near a real road – meaning when they do learn at 17 they can focus more on other road users and potential hazards.”

Current dates Young Driver will be running at Ewood Park are the 16th February, 29th March and 21st June. Driving tuition is available for disabled youngsters and Young Driver can also cater for birthday parties. Thirty or sixty-minute lessons must be booked in advance. Lessons start from £36.99.

For more information, to book a lesson or to buy vouchers visitwww.youngdriver.com or call 0333 577 9010.

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