Giving children as young as 11 experience behind the wheel could potentially slash accident rates and save lives.
That's according to research from Seat and Young Driver Training Ltd, which shows that drivers that have participated in the Seat Young Driver Programme were less likely to be involved in a crash.
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Shockingly Department for Transport figures show that two out of ten newly-qualified drivers will crash within the first six months of gaining their licence.
Teenagers that have driven for more than six months after passing their test that enrolled for the Seat Young Driver programme in their early years though accumulated a massively reduced accident rate.
Fewer than one in ten drivers aged 17-24 had been involved in an accident six months after passing, equating to 9 per cent. That's less than half the current national rate.
The data indicates that providing children with in-car experience past from the age of 11 can reduce casualties and give them the necessary skills to stay safe on the road later in life.
How to save a life
The Seat Young Driver scheme gives children and young adults between the ages of 11-17 first-hand experience behind the wheel.
Children are accompanied by a qualified ADI instructor who teaches them how to drive, aspects of road awareness and more. Peter Rodger of the Institute of Advanced motorists (IAM) is adamant that it's a long-term method to cutting casualties on the road.
"It's good to see early indications that pre-driver courses are producing safer drivers. The IAM has always felt that training drivers over a longer period of time and catching them when their attitudes towards driving are still developing is key to producing a safer driver.
"Facilitating more time to develop skills of observation and anticipation, and to build a broad experience of different traffic conditions, will ultimately save lives."
The Seat Young Driver programme is currently the only one of its kind in the UK, and had attracted more than 60,000 participants by the end of 2012.
Written by John Meadowcroft.