We all realise how much driving insurance premiums for teenagers taking to the road for the first time have gone up in recent years. Depending on a variety of circumstances ranging from the car you drive, through to what sex you are, premiums can range anywhere between £2000 and £5000, and in some cases even more.
The reason for this is that teenagers are statistically more likely to have an accident. This is not just a calculation based on the statistics but also a judgement on levels of maturity and experience. This trepidation on behalf of the insurance companies is often replicated by fears in the minds of parents who dread the thought of their son or daughter venturing out on the roads in a car for the first time. It is now possible to introduce children to driving at a much younger age so that when they are of a legal age to drive on the roads, they already have some experience of handling a car. So what is the teen driving experience and can it really improve road safety?
The Teen Driving Experience Concept
Like many other experiences you can purchase nowadays, the driving experience is designed to give a taste of something that may not normally be available to you in everyday life. Many adults like to go on race driving experiences because although they use a car on a daily basis, the opportunity to drive fast is not available to them. In the same way, the experience of driving a car is not normally available to a child of say for example, school age. A teen driving experience is a way of making this available in a secure and supervised off-road environment.
Who is Eligible?
The experiences are aimed at young people under the age of 17 who are not allowed to drive on the roads. The lower age limit will depend on the individual centre with some offering the courses for young people aged 13 and upwards and others setting the limit at 14.
What You can Expect
The first thing you can expect is that the driving experience will be held in a dedicated and highly supervised off-road environment. Some are held in driving centres that simulate a road environment with all the characteristics of driving on a real road. There are other experiences with the emphasis more on fun that are held on tracks and other off-road environments. What you choose will depend upon what you are trying to achieve in terms of experience for the teenager concerned.
If you are looking to introduce your child to road safety behind the wheel of a car, you should be considering factors such as safety training, before practical application, one on one driving tuition with a highly experienced and qualified instructor and at least one and a half to two hours actual driving in a dual control car. Some of these experiences can be followed up with further courses that develop upon the things learnt in the first.
These schemes can be expensive – ranging anywhere from £90 upwards, but the benefits are obvious. The confidence boost, road safety knowledge, and prior experience obtained from these courses can really make the first experience of driving on an actual road, less daunting and safer.