How to prepare a teenager for the challenges of UK roads in 2017

PrintFor many teenagers turning 17, there is only one thing this milestone age indicates – that they’re legally allowed to learn to drive a car. It’s a big deal, and for many, it represents their first real opportunity at freedom. But just because they’re legally allowed to learn to drive, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready too.

According to a study from the RAC, nearly half of UK teenagers learned to drive when they were 17-years old whereas only 13% waited until they were 26 to learn. Whilst it’s clear the majority of 17 year olds are eager to learn, it’s also true that a large percentage of parents are happy to help them do so.

46% of parent surveyed said they would pay for their son/daughters first car, and this figure rises to 71% when focused on parents living in the North East of England. Of course, there is some inevitable apprehension in parents seeing their child take to the UK road system. 73% of parent’s fear that their child could be involved in a serious accident.

Unfortunately, there is no magical remedy for these feelings of dread. All you can to do is make sure that your child is well prepared, and hope that the driving lessons they’ve taken will stick with them throughout their driving career.

So what can you do to help prepare your child for life on the roads?

Pre-journey checks

According to the RAC, in 2016 alone 253,147 people broke down because of battery problems with well over 200,000 coming to a standstill because of their tyres. Whilst some of these incidents will have been unavoidable, many could have been avoided through thorough pre-journey checks on your cars condition.

Worst-case-scenario training

Even if you have made sure that your kids have been kitted out with the best breakdown cover money can buy, should they get into this situation, have you given them instructions on how to behave in case the worst should happen?

Here are a few quick tips to remember,

  • Move your car as far off the road as you can or if it is still drivable, the car should be driven into an exit or service area.
  • It’s important that they do not remain in the vehicle, as stationary cars become targets for accidents, especially on motorways.
  • Always put your hazard lights on in an emergency situation, and if it’s safe to do so, you can position a warning device on the road too.

Carrying out these checks should help stem the worries you have for your children’s welfare on the roads. Of course, these feelings are totally natural! The infographic below explains how parents across the UK are in the same boat when it comes to sending their children of alone into the UK’s road system.



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Editor in chief Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Bournemouth News & Info is her website and she is assisted by the fabulous Fred From France in all things geeky and technical. Hire us to make your website, too, if you like.

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