Welcoming the news that the DVLA is encouraging parents to ‘sit in ‘on their children’s driving lessons, Crispin Moger, CEO at Marmalade, a leading provider of cars and insurance for young drivers, calls on the organisation to get up to speed with its tests as well.
“It is good to see that the DVLA recognises the importance of parent’s involvement in their child’s driving lesson; it’s just a shame that it’s taken them so long to do something about it. We have always worked closely with parents who play a critical role in the safety of their children behind the wheel. This isn’t just being careful not to pass on bad habits, though this is of course a factor, but it’s important that parents remain involved once their child has passed their test. On a national average 1 in 5 young drivers is involved in an accident within the first six months of passing their test. It isn’t necessarily that young drivers equal bad drivers, but they do lack practical experience, so we need to find ways of continually supporting them once the driving instructor or parent is no longer beside them.
“We use a combination of advanced telematics, one to one support and learning, together with a contract with both the young driver and a parent to dramatically improve the safety of our customers. Compared to the national average, just 1 in 20 of our customers in involved in an accident in the first six months of driving. A number that we are determined to further reduce and parents will be instrumental in this process.
“It’s not just the important role of parents that DVLA needs to recognise, but also that the technological advances in cars in recent times have rendered many aspects of the current driving test useless. For example, shuffling the wheel through your hands made sense when the steering wheels were three times the size, but nowadays they are small and easy to handle and moving your hands with the wheel is actually a good thing as it enables you to know the direction of the wheels. The Highway Code is also well overdue a major overhaul to ensure that young drivers today are being taught how to drive in modern cars and in today’s road conditions. This move by the DVLA is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done and we all need to work together to make our roads as safe as possible.”