Old Trafford, Manchester: Gary Lineker, Host of BBC Match of the Day, will be launching a new educational approach for novice drivers, which aims to make young drivers safer
Gary is teaming up with the a2om CIC (pronounced “atom kick”) to launch Drive iQ – expert driving education to use before getting behind the wheel, through to taking the driving test. This advanced methodology provides free, state-of-the-art online ‘brain training’ modules for those preparing to get onto the road, as these essential behavioural skills are often missed in traditional teaching methods.
Drive iQ wwhich won a coveted Prince Michael International Road safey Award in 2011 is set to go some way to reducing the number of young drivers killed and injured on Britain’s roads. In 2010, 37% of all fatal road crashes happened to young drivers aged 16-29 – with 2,374 young people killed or severely injured in the UK*.
Gary Lineker will be joining Sarah Rowley, CEO of a2om CIC and founder of the campaign, for a special launch event on 20th March to be hosted by Manchester United FC at Old Trafford. Sarah said, “Young people are the most vulnerable of road users: tragically, hundreds die each year and thousands are seriously injured. The vast majority of crashes are influenced by poor attitude and behaviour, rather than lack of technical skill behind the wheel. We offer Drive iQ ‘brain training’ free of charge to schools and colleges, hoping to enhance driving skills from the age of 16 upwards. Improvements these days in PSHE education mean that teenagers are made aware from an early age of the risks associated with sexual behaviour and drug use, yet driving is likely to be far more dangerous to them and is still a topic not covered at school.**”
Gary Lineker – ambassador to ingenie, the sponsor of the a2om CIC schools programme is a parent with boys driving or getting ready to make their way onto the road. He is taking an active part in the launch of Drive iQ to highlight the importance of educating, supporting and encouraging young drivers from the age of 16 upwards.
He said, “As a father with sons making their way out on to the road, I want to be sure they’re as prepared as they can be. Drive iQ is a great starting point and I would also encourage all parents to read the Parent Guide on the RoadSafe for Parents website to get an understanding of what is involved in the process and how to support your kids as they learn.”
The software has been developed in partnership with leading scientists and is designed to aid in the maturation of the brains frontal lobe. The e-learning course guides young drivers through a series of online modules which include lessons in eye-scanning, distraction and hazard perception. These modules hone the vital skills often neglected by young drivers and help with anticipating danger, controlling emotions and assessing risk. By addressing both night- time and poor weather driving and urban and rural driving, Drive iQ broadens the experience base of the novice driver beyond the day to day scenarios encountered in normal driving lessons.
Dr Lisa Dorn, leading psychologist and reader in Driver Behaviour at Cranfield University,who has been behind the development of the software said, “Automated responses to hazards only develop when neural pathways are laid down after repeated associations between a hazard and a threat. These automated pathways help an experienced driver avoid risky situations. a2om’s software education helps young people to develop skills in anticipating hazards and trains visual search strategies. Repeated exposure to online training clips helps to establish associations between hazards and adverse consequences.”
A recent survey by ingenie – the innovative new young driver insurance brand and published by RoadSafe – 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***.
Drive iQ actively encourages young drivers to prepare for the road and to continue learning beyond the driving test.
Adrian Walsh, Director of The leading road safety think tank RoadSafe said “This software which is has already proved a success in many schools is now available across the country. We encourage parents to take a look and call for their children’s schools to use it – it will give them much more confidence when their children first take to the road.”
* statistics from the Department of Transport, RAS30024, 29th September, 2011
** statistics from the Office for National Statistics, VS3 (mortality by cause), local authorities England and Wales: Vital Statistics Outputs Branch, 2008-2010
***survey carried out on behalf of ingenie by One Poll, February 2012