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Website relaunch to help families and friends keep new drivers safe

October 8 2018

Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) has relaunched a one stop website for people supporting new drivers in a bid to help them stay safe on the road.

Keeping our roads safe is one of our top priorities and Staffordshire remains amongst the top counties for road safety.

Helen Fisher, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Council

The website, Mentoring New Drivers, combines a wealth of information for individuals navigating their way through all the decisions involved in this stage of their loved one’s life, such as selecting a driving instructor right through to purchasing and insuring their first car. It also features downloadable guides on important topics to discuss with their young drivers before they take to the road, such as speeding and the dangers of using a mobile phone while behind the wheel. 

SSRP recognises that this milestone in a young person’s life may also be a worrying time. The website aims to provide practical materials that can be used to help get involved in the learning to drive process and equip mentors so they feel confident helping young people understand how important road safety is.

The website was initially launched in 2016 after SSRP identified a gap in guidance and practical materials for people to use to support their loved one on their learning to drive journey; from deciding to learn to drive, to becoming a safe, independent young driver. Working with The Honest Truth road safety charity, SSRP designed the website as a place for credible, unbiased advice for learner drivers and their mentors and a resource that Driving Instructors could signpost their young drivers to.

Following an evaluation the website has been improved and now features video content and takeaway guides, as well as a glossary of terms. The website is divided into five key areas:

  1. Driving instructors - things to consider when choosing a driving instructor and an introduction to instructors who are part of The Honest Truth scheme, who help drivers develop positive attitudes to 8 specific risks.
  2. Private practice - why it’s important to supplement professional instruction with private practice to gain extra experience behind the wheel. A ‘how to’ guide to planning lessons and routes to reinforce what’s already been covered by their instructor.
  3. Insurance – cutting the cost of insurance without cutting corners by using a telematics-based policy, tips on getting the best deals and using apps to see how driving can be improved.
  4. Buying a car – as safety technologies are increasingly available on newer smaller cars, the must-have safety features are described and explained – from AEB to ESP - and an explanation of Euro NCAP ratings.
  5. Fatal Five – facts on some of the most common factors that see young drivers involved in collisions and tips on driving in challenging conditions, such as on rural roads and in bad weather.

Speaking on behalf of the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership, Helen Fisher, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Council said: “Keeping our roads safe is one of our top priorities and Staffordshire remains amongst the top counties for road safety. 

“Young drivers are much more likely to be involved in a collision and our relaunched campaign will reach out to them and their families and friends to encourage them to be more aware of their driving. 

“Being a safe young driver is about more than passing your test. It is about having the experience in different situations and having the right attitude about driving.  Families and friends are also well placed to give their young driver the best possible start to their driving career and the updated website will guide them through everything they need to know to help their loved one be a better, safer driver. 

Helen added: “While the website features Staffordshire roads in the videos and some elements have been based on analysis from Staffordshire, such as driving on rural roads, there’s an opportunity for this resource to be used by young drivers, mentors and Driving Instructors across the country.”