Yes it is possible if they are given the opportunity to build their safety awareness at a very early stage and we, as parents, support them in their journey of knowledge.
Teenagers can learn to drive prior to their seventeenth birthday by joining clubs like the Under17 Car Club. The club is run by volunteers to keep costs down and no further insurance is required as they learn in your own car, with parent supervision, on private land. Meetings are on a Sunday at various locations around the South of England and run from March to November.
Using the Roadcraft driving manuals, which are used by the police, students are taught about:
- The mechanics of the car
- All the essential car checks that should be completed on a regular basis
- Road and safety awareness
- Driving technique
On top of that each student receives tuition from an authorised instructor on a regular basis to enable students to go through the grading system and perfect their technique and knowledge. The student has to competently demonstrate all the requirements and manoeuvres of that grade before they can progress onto the next level. The grading system goes from:
- Ungraded on first joining
- Grade 5
- Grade 4
- Grade 3
- Grade 2
- Grade 1
- Grade X – although this is quite rare
Each location that they use is quite unique and has something different to offer. They use race tracks, emergency services practice units and driving centres. By using the different sites students get the opportunity to experience real road layouts, motorway driving and what speed feels like on a track.
They also organise extra events such as Skid Pan Training, 4X4 Driving Day and First Aid Training.
My daughter joined the club in February 2014 and has only missed one meeting since the start of the season so credit goes to my husband for his dedication in taking her each week. She is currently working towards her Grade 2 which is an amazing achievement in her first year. She has learnt so much about how to maintain a car, how an engine works and how important it is to drive in a safe and sensible way. The club strongly educates young people to develop their awareness for hazards and how to prepare for them in order to keep them and other drivers safe.
If you know anyone that is interested in learning to drive before they are 17 and wants to develop into a safe driver then I can thoroughly recommend the Under17 Car Club. I have never seen my daughter and husband so enthusiastic and motivated to get up early on a Sunday morning and it is lovely to see their driving relationship developing.
By doing something different my daughter has developed new skills, increased her confidence and hopefully reduced the probability of having an accident in her later driving career.
If you have any questions or queries please feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s to more safe and happy young drivers!