Goodyear issues call for action on young driver safety

12.00 | 10 October 2014 | | 3 comments

The tyre manufacturer Goodyear is urging the European Commission to raise awareness of the key role parents’ can play in educating their children about road safety, by funding publicity campaigns.

The call for action is included in the second edition of Goodyear’s White Paper ‘Driving Safety First: Improving road safety for novice drivers,’ which was released in Brussels on 2 October.

In addition to exploring the attitudes of driving instructors and novice drivers themselves, the paper reveals the results of a three-year research project that explores the attitudes of parents of novice drivers to road safety.

The research is based on a survey of more than 6,800 parents of novice drivers (16-25yrs) from 19 European countries. The research was commissioned to better understand parents’ attitudes to road safety, both in terms of how they are setting an example as drivers and how they support their children in learning to drive.

Based on the research findings, Goodyear is calling on the European Commission to “encourage and fund public campaigns to increase awareness of parents’ role in educating their children about road safety”, and to conduct research into the safety benefits of a graduated driving license (GDL) system.

Goodyear is also calling on local governments to encourage refresher courses in driving for experienced drivers, and for the introduction of a ‘road safety day for novice drivers’ to address the specific challenges they face.

The tyre manufacturer is also calling on the insurance industry to incentivise parents who demonstrate their commitment to safe driving, for example through the use of black box systems, and for schools and colleges to teach road safety beyond primary age.

Olivier Rousseau, Goodyear vice president, said: “This White Paper is the result of nearly a decade’s work by Goodyear.

“Building on research conducted across Europe, Middle East and Africa, we can now offer unique insights into the triangle of groups that matter the most in road safety: novice drivers, driving instructors and parents of novice drivers.

“As a major supplier of the automobile industry we play a key role in driving up road safety standards. I look forward to our continuing engagement with policy makers, road safety associations, driving schools, parents and the motor industry to further improve the safety of our young drivers.“


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    Certainly, parents can have a role to play in helping their offspring’s general approach to road safety. After all they have years of experience. However, please leave the in car training to qualified ADIs who have the knowledge, skill and attitude to teach correctly. Learners are urged to practice with a sponsor who invariably has serious bad driving habits. The sponsor in many cases is undoing the good work of the professional trainer. How many sponsors i.e. parents etc. will admit to failing the driving test if they were to undergo it again? Leave this life saving training to those who are trained and tested to do so.

    Tom Harrington Co. Kerry Ireland
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    I don’t see that this should come as any great surprise as it has long been established that children learn initially by copying the behaviour they see around them. DfT recognised that parents and carers are hugely influential over 20 years ago when it produced the guidance on child pedestrian training which started off “You are best placed to teach your child about roads and traffic as you are with them for most of the time” – or words to that effect. I also remember health promotion using images of a child sitting next to an adult who was drinking a can of lager and one where the adult was smoking with the tag line “They will follow your example”.

    Yes, parents can help to develop better road users but from an early age as pedestrians and passengers first, not suddenly as novice drivers, please.

    Mandy Rigault. Oxfordshire.
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    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? How on earth will parents be able to set a good example to their children when most of them do not have a clue about driving?

    David, Suffolk
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