The driving school of mum and dad

18th September 2013

  • 68 per cent of parents make children have extra driving tuition after passing their test
  • 29 per cent of parents put restrictions on their child’s driving after their test

Parents of young drivers are so concerned about their children’s safety on the roads after passing their test that they are making their kids pass the ‘driving school of mum and dad’ before they’re allowed to drive unsupervised.

Research amongst parents of children aged between 17 and 26 by Direct Line* found that two thirds (68 per cent) of parents took additional steps to ensure their children were better prepared for driving unsupervised, even after they had passed their test. Measures that parents of newly qualified drivers took to improve their children’s confidence and experience on the roads included:

  • 30 per cent took them out on motorways before allowing them to drive on a motorway alone
  • 23 per cent took them out driving in the dark before allowing them to drive at night on their own
  • 20 per cent took their child out for more supervised driving sessions to increase their driving experience
  • 20 per cent ensured their child took the Pass Plus test.

Furthermore, in addition to helping their children gain more valuable driving experience while under supervision, another 29 per cent of parents of novice drivers also put restrictions on their child’s driving after they had been granted their full driving licence.

Over one in ten (11 per cent) didn’t allow their son or daughter to be the ‘designated driver’ for evenings out at the pub with friends, and another nine per cent put a restriction on the number of passengers they were allowed to have in the car at any one time.

Over one in ten (11 per cent) ensured their child used green ‘P’ plates after they passed their test. Other restrictions included putting a ban on driving after a certain time at night (seven per cent) and five per cent of parents banned their child from driving on motorways after first passing their test.

To help monitor their child’s driving, a fifth (19 per cent) of parents insured their child on their car to restrict their son or daughter’s use of the car at first.

Despite the extra tuition, four in ten (42 per cent) parents with children aged under 26 who have a full licence still admit to worrying about their children’s safety in some circumstances, such as when they are driving in the dark or for long distances. And nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of parents worries all the time about their children when they are behind the wheel.

Paul Felton, head of Telematics at Direct Line, commented: “The message that young people are disproportionately involved in road collisions** is being taken very seriously. Parents are taking decisive action to ensure their children build up adequate confidence and capability behind the wheel before they are given free reign on the roads.”

“We are disappointed that the publication of the Government’s Green Paper on improving safety and reducing risks for young drivers has been postponed until the autumn. We believe there is compelling evidence from other countries that action can be taken to reduce risks and we believe there is strong consensus for taking action now. From research we’ve recently conducted with parents of novice drivers, we’ve found there is strong support for many of the graduated licences proposals the Government was considering, including the introduction of a minimum learning period, a lower tolerance limit to alcohol and a restriction on passenger numbers. These measures would all be significant steps forward in reducing the number of car accidents involving under-25s in the UK.”

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said:“Every death and serious injury on roads is devastating, particularly so when it involves a young person, with their whole life ahead of them. Understandably, road crashes are a major fear for parents of young people and Brake encourages the Government to take note of parents’ support for young driver restrictions. Evidence is clear on the strong safety benefit of a minimum learning period, a zero-tolerance drink drive limit and post-test restrictions on passengers and night-time driving. The Government has an opportunity to make an enormous difference to the lives of young people this autumn when it releases a Green Paper on tacking young driver crashes. We are calling for a full system of graduated driver licensing to help protect newly qualified drivers and those around them from the horror of a serious crash.”

Notes to editors

*Opinium research interviewed a UK nationally representative sample of 1,041 of parents with children aged 16- 26 from 22nd – 28th May 2013. ** Casualty rates for car drivers by age, ‘Getting young drivers back on the roads in safety’, Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, 2013

For further information, please contact:

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides car, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com

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