Learner drivers could benefit if the people teaching them also brush up on their driving knowledge.
Learner drivers could benefit if the people teaching them also brush up on their driving knowledge. davidf

On the road to safer driving

I HAVE been driving for 32 years and I don't think too much about the actual practice or mechanics behind driving.

I am a stickler for the rules though. Just ask my learner driver - he hears my rants about these things regularly.

However, I recently took part in the Keys2drive with my L-plater son and realised I am never too old to learn. It was an hour well spent.

The free lesson with the accredited driving instructor made me think about my own driving habits and had me re-evaluating my driving ability.

Thankfully I have never been involved in an accident, but have I become a little complacent in thinking driving for me is second nature?

The idea behind the Keys2drive initiative is 'to build a foundation for lifelong safe driving' and improve driver behaviour to reduce road crash involvement.

Research shows encouraging co-operation between driving schools and parents in teaching learners how to drive may be beneficial in increasing the quality of instruction, and the quantity of learner driver experience.

Therefore, it makes sense to me to take advantage of this federally funded program.

With new drivers at greatest crash risk in the first six months of solo driving, this free Keys2drive lesson goes some way in helping improve safety on our roads.

But drivers, particularly young drivers, can and do take risks that have little to do with how much skill or knowledge they have, and more to do with their attitude and mindset.

Driver training, be it with a driving instructor, friends, relatives or a combination of these, focuses on basic car control skills, driving techniques, road law knowledge and initial driver licensing.

But improving knowledge and skill does not necessarily lead to a change in behaviour among drivers.

I think a mandatory traffic safety training course for all drivers that provides strategies to assist in managing behaviour when in cars should be developed as another step to reduce the number of accidents on our roads.

Other programs such as RYDA - a series of workshops for high school students changing the way they think about road safety - can go a long way towards equipping young people with the tools and knowledge they need to stay safe on the road.

Maybe it's time all drivers took a course in staying safe behind the wheel.

I will certainly be encouraging my young driver to do one and I might just join him.