JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – A focus of Youth Month 2019 has highlighted the vital demands of driving education and training as teenagers complete their secondary and tertiary education.
However, according to road training organisation Masterdrive, one form of training that may not be getting sufficient attention is defensive driving as parents send their offspring to university or out into the world with their shiny new licences.
”Various studies and research,” says Masterdrive’s Eugene Herbert, ”show South African youth are some of the most vulnerable on the road. Our experience with new drivers shows us that lack of experience and a tendency to indulge in risky driving puts them at risk.”
There are, he said, three risk areas:
AFTER YEARS OF seeing potentially dangerous road incidents or being involved in them ourselves experienced drivers often know when to be wary.
Herbert again: “Lack of experience makes younger drivers overestimate their speed in certain conditions such as rain or maintain too-close following distances. Drive with your teenagers as much as possible to let them build experience and confidence with an experienced driver at their side.”.
WHETHER IT IS fear of not looking ‘cool’ or simply a lack of understanding of safe driving, younger drivers are also likely to engage in reckless driving. Herbert explains: “Not fastening crash restraints, speeding, aggressive driving, and using a cellphone while driving are just some habits of which they are guilty.
”Show young drivers why certain behaviours are so dangerous. Defensive driving does not just tell drivers not to do something but explains why.”
COMPETENT DRIVING DOES does not end after completing a K53 driving test.
“We encourage all drivers to undergo defensive driving training to have an absolute awareness of surroundings and how to avoid being vulnerable to a collision or how to avoid one.
“In addition to the relationship and love you have with and for your teenager(s) you have invested at least two million rands into their development as an educated and well-adapted adult.
”Neglecting to give them this last bit of training to take on South African roads is a mistake and can even be considered short-sighted. This Youth Month, make sure your child has the education to stay safe on the road.”