One in two learner drivers (54%) have been out on the road with their parents despite many mums and dads showing a lack of knowledge of basic driving best practice, with one in five admitting that they are not sure whether they would pass a driving test if they had to take it again.
The research, commissioned by Admiral-sponsored Young Driver campaign, followed driving instructors working for the scheme where they claimed that their most dreaded phrase from the young drivers was “but my dad says…”
When questioned, 76% of parents believed that they were up-to-date with the latest rules and could provide their children with adequate instruction. However, when quizzed on particular facts it showed that many were off target when shooting for the right answer.
Young Driver offers driving tuition to 10-17 year olds across Britain, and surveyed more than 1,000 people to get these results.
Here are a few of the ‘outdated advice’ as mentioned by Admiral:
Mirror, signal, manoeuvre – more than a third of parents have forgotten this basic rule, despite it being the cornerstone of good driving. While one in two forget to teach their children about the importance of checking dangerous blind spots.
Steering – Four out of five parents (82%) wouldn’t teach the push-pull technique favoured by instructors.
Gear changes – 38% would insist the learner moved up and down the gears sequentially (1-2-3-4-5-6). However, block gear changing is now considered acceptable in many situations.
Hand position – despite many of us being taught that hands should be kept on the steering wheel at the 10 to two position, that advice has been revised over recent years. It is now recommended that hands are in the quarter to three position, to maintain control and to prevent a serious injury should an airbag deploy. Some 46% of parents admitted to insisting their youngsters use the original ten and two placement they’d been taught in the pre-airbag era.
Manoeuvres – One in five would be adamant that a turn in the road was a fail unless it was completed in three manoeuvres. In fact, the modern test allows for up to five turns, hence, it no longer being called a ‘three point turn”.
Assisted technology – One in four would insist young drivers didn’t use parking sensors or cruise control to help with their driving, but these are perfectly acceptable in a test situation when used appropriately.
The research also discovered that dads are twice as likely as mums to take their child out for practice, with the majority offering additional experience lessons alongside ones with their driving instructor.
Kim Stanton, of Young Driver, said: “Our instructors have long despaired of the phrase ‘my dad says’ just because it normally means a parent is contradicting what the professionals are trying to teach the learner!
“Because we teach under 17′s, usually the youngsters haven’t yet had any experience of being taught by a parent, but children are like sponges – they constantly want to absorb information, and once they’ve had a lesson with Young Driver, they often question their parents on driving techniques.
“But of course, the instructors are the experts, and know what the current best practice is, so we’d hope parents would swot up a bit before giving any dud advice! It might actually help their own driving skills too.”