Free professional driving lessons motor past 750,000 mark
Australian novice drivers and their parents have benefitted from three-quarters of a million free professional driving lessons, thanks to the road safety initiative Keys2drive.
This month the 750,000th free lesson was provided by the Federal Government funded road safety program which aims to help reduce road trauma for P-plate drivers.
The program has saved Australian learner drivers and their supervisors millions of dollars since the free hour-long Keys2drive lessons began in 2009.
The one-off lessons with professional instructors involve theory and practice and are designed to improve the safety, skills and knowledge of both learner drivers and their supervisors, typically mum or dad.
A survey of more than 2200 parents and other learner driver supervisors from across the country who took part in a Keys2drive lesson found:
- Two-thirds incorporated information and techniques from the lesson in their own driving
- 54 per cent said they applied their increased knowledge of road rules in their driving
- 95 per cent would buy the safest car they could afford for their learner
- 74 per cent increased discussions with their learner about road-safety risks for novice drivers
- 94 per cent said the learner had a greater appreciation of the risks facing new solo drivers
The survey was part of the Keys2drive Parental influence in driver education report released in March this year.
RAA Senior Manager Community Engagement Ben Haythorpe said the report investigated how parents can influence their children's development and long-term safety as drivers.
"The research demonstrated considerable differences in parental confidence, knowledge and attitudes," he said.
"Parents can provide undue praise, for example, which can lead to overconfident novice drivers. Others may be overprotective and instruct their learners without letting them do much thinking for themselves."
Mr Haythorpe said supervisors, as well as learners, could greatly benefit from the additional support provided by a Keys2drive lesson with a professional instructor.
"Parents learn about the safety benefits of engagement though ongoing vigilance and interest in their child's driving, including after they have gained their provisional licence," he said.
"They can develop the confidence to help learners fix mistakes immediately and practise with purpose, by valuing quality learning over quantity.
"Keys2drive aims to produce better supervisors and the report shows parents are benefitting from the free lessons."
Keys2drive lessons are sponsored by Australia's state and territory motoring clubs, including RAA.
They involve 30 minutes of theory and 30 minutes of practice for a learner and their supervisor (usually the parent) with an accredited driving instructor.
RAA has come a long way since being founded by a small group of motoring pioneers in 1903. Today, more than 750,000 members choose RAA to deliver them peace of mind, through a trusted range of motor, home and travel products and services.
Members are at the heart of everything RAA does, so it's always looking for new ways to better their lives and make it easy to focus on what really matters. As one of the state's largest and oldest organisations, RAA is proud to help keep its members - and SA - moving in the right direction.