I have stood at the funeral of young men, boys becoming men. I have wept as I watched their coffins carried by their friends. As a teacher I have heard countless tales of my students taking risks and engaging in risky behaviour in the misconstrued belief that tragedy and death will not become them.
I have cried great big sobbing tears as I have watched parents battle with an overwhelming grief when they are laying their children to rest. It goes against the grain, parents should not be burying their children.
These deaths have been the result of a mistake, a reckless act, a boy that drowned after attempting to swim the Thames whilst under the influence of alcohol and another as a result of getting in a car with a drunk driver. Then there are countless others who have not paid the ultimate price but have been hurt or crashed their car after driving too fast, to late or just without enough care. Therefore I was really interested in the Goodyear Driving Academy who contacted me tohelp raise awareness and improve road safety of young drivers.
There are three parts to the programme firstly online games and theory quiz for everyone, the second part is a parent pack which informs parents of how to keep children safe. the final part is a practical driving lesson for 11-17 year olds to teach them the basics and have them safety aware from a young age.
We have reviewed the course and found it really worthwhile, the first two parts are important as parents are their child’s educator and role model. Driving is a skill and children will copy their parents. The final part included Chloe having an off road lesson at one of the locations.
Chloe was really excited but the nerves hit her just before her lesson however she did exceptionally well. Her instructor was fantastic with her and he soon had her travelling around the course. Chloe drove for an hour and by the end was changing gears (she even got into third gear), had reversed and experienced the concept of roundabouts and stopping for other cars. Chloe was surprised that she was so near other young people having their lesson!
What the experience taught Chloe is that driving is a privilege and that responsibility comes with it. She is really keen to start learning to drive and its only a little over two years that she will be legally able to take to the road. It has made me realise that chloe is impressionable now and that she is already watching Lee and I in the car. We need to ensure we are setting the best example and that we discuss road safety with all three of the children from a young age. Teenagers will take risks and communication and being a role model may just make the difference and that is something as a parent I aim to do. Teens will still make mistakes but the better equipped and knowledgeable they are should have an impact.
Do consider looking at the programme I really think it can make a difference. check out all the information here.
Disclosure: Goodyear Young Driver enabled this experience for which we thank them.