Mums Della Phillips and Carol Morgan know the pain car crashes cause and they are calling for immediate action to get free, ground-breaking software Drive iQ, to every 16 year old in the UK without delay.
Della said: “My daughter Kelly was a passenger of a 17 year old driver, he took on a bend at 80miles an hour outside their college gates. They hit a tree and were both killed instantly. It took the emergency services 5 hours to get them out of the car. The pain I have, 7 years on is indescribable, my grief only gets bigger and bigger as each day passes.”
Road crashes are the biggest killer of 15-24 year olds in the UK*. However, inexperience isn’t the only thing working against them; their brain development and attitude and behaviour have a crucial role to play. Conventional driving tuition only focuses on the technical elements required to pass the driving test, despite research telling us that 19 out of 20 crashes are contributed to by attitude and behaviour and not vehicle handling skill.
Carol’s daughter Sophie (sophiemorgan.com) was left fighting for her life and paralysed following a crash a few months after passing her test. Carol said, “Looking back I wish now that she had not passed so quickly and easily – perhaps a failure and subsequently more lessons would have prevented all of this. Apathy simply isn’t an option here, because road crashes don’t discriminate. So we urge parents and schools not to leave it to chance.”
Drive iQ is a FREE online education platform that is evidence-based, state-of-the-art and free for young people and their schools. Drive iQ puts pre-drivers and novices through potentially hazardous road scenarios. It works by accelerating frontal lobe maturation and hones the skills often neglected by young drivers, such as: danger anticipation, hazard perception, eye scanning, impulse and emotion. There are 6 interactive modules: Eye Scanning, Distraction, Anatomy of a Crash, Perception, Seatbelts and Cycling – all aiming to effect behaviour change by allowing young people to be coached to self-reflect and work problems out for themselves in turn aiding recall.
Lisa Dorn, Reader on Driver Behaviour, Cranfield University said “There is little evidence that passing the driving test means novice drivers are safe. Indeed, they are more at risk of crash involvement post-test than at any other time in their driving careers. Drive iQ’s enhanced focus on hazard awareness improves the ability to judge traffic situations and considers the attitudinal and behavioural factors associated with risk.”
Each of the modules comes with teacher Facilitator Notes to run the programme as a series of classroom workshops ie in PSHE/tutorial time. All the evidence tells us that the best outcome is to engage young people in a workshop environment to discuss the issues peer-to-peer, reviewing the e-learning together, whilst formulating their own interpretation and action.
Drive iQ is distributed by a small social enterprise, the a2om CIC (pronounced atom kick) and although it has already had more than 350 schools and 30,000 young people use the programme, there are still more than 4,500 schools in the UK that could have free access to this for their students today.
Sarah Rowley, CEO of the a2om CIC said: “Whether your child is 16 and thinking about learning to drive, currently having driving lessons or has just passed their test, Drive iQ is relevant for them. This year we have also added a Cycling module to help young drivers respect cyclists and vice-versa. All we want is for parents to know they are there, so they can incorporate them into their child’s learning to drive process. In this case better education has the power to save lives”.
A recent survey by ingenie – the young driver insurance brand and sponsor of the Drive iQ programme – concluded that 49% of 17 – 25 year old drivers admitted to feeling nervous, under prepared, overwhelmed and scared the first time they drove alone – so, rushing to pass the test without additional educational support isn’t preparing young people effectively**.
“Too many young drivers assume that passing their test means they are a good driver – in reality passing the test is only the start of achieving driving excellence,” said Richard King founder and CEO of ingenie. “At ingenie we believe that education is the answer to reducing crashes which is why we’ve sponsored Drive iQ over the past two years. With the assistance of Drive iQ and Cranfield University, ingenie has developed groundbreaking methods for providing our community of young drivers with the essential information and feedback to help them improve their driving. Our experience to date indicates that the right approach to young driver education can have a significant impact on reducing crashes.”
For free access to Drive iQ, please go to
. There is also a useful (and calming) 40 page parent guide “Is your child learning to drive? Everything you will need and want to know.”
CALL TO ACTION: If you would like to get Drive iQ for your child’s school/college/youth group, please contact
*statistics from the Department of Transport **survey carried out on behalf of ingenie by One Poll, February 2012 ***survey carried out on behalf of Confused.com by Autoglass, November 2012