A specialist driver training scheme which allows 10-17 year olds to get behind the wheel in a bid to create a new generation of safer drivers is launching its fourth venue in Wales.
After Newport, Pentwyn and Chepstow, Young Driver will open at Swansea City AFC on Saturday 16 April, when the car park will be transformed into a realistic road system so youngsters can work on a range of driving skills and manoeuvres.
Young Driver is the UK’s largest provider of pre-17 driving lessons, having delivered over 1,000,000 lessons at more than 70 venues across the UK. Youngsters have lessons in new, dual controlled Vauxhall Corsa SE Premium, with highly qualified approved driving instructors.
A road system is created, with traffic signs, roundabouts and junctions, along with special areas to practice manoeuvres such as steering control and parking. The emphasis of the lessons is on safety and fun and encouraging youngsters to consider how to drive responsibly, giving them time to perfect driving skills such as gear changes, braking and steering without the pressures of public roads.
Shockingly, one in five newly qualified drivers crashes within six months of passing their test. Only eight per cent of drivers are aged 17 – 24 and yet they account for a worrying 30 per cent of people who are killed in cars every year. But for those who have taken Young Driver lessons, the rate of accidents in that worrying first six months drops dramatically, to fewer than four per cent.
Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “We are really excited to be launching at Swansea. We’ve been looking for another venue in Wales for some time, as the existing venues are often running at capacity. The space available at Swansea City AFC will provide plenty of opportunities for youngsters to try out lots of different driving skills and techniques, whether they’re a beginner or have already had a few lessons at another of our venues.
“Clearly something needs to be done to tackle the seriously high accident rates of our young drivers. Training drivers over a longer period of time allows youngsters to have a solid understanding of how to drive a car before they get anywhere near a real road. But the lessons are also lots of fun and they’re a great general confidence boost for teens and pre-teens, who take the responsibility very seriously.”
Driving tuition is available for disabled youngsters. Thirty or sixty-minute lessons must be booked in advance and prices start from £44.99.