Poll reveals parents’ safety fears

12.00 | 23 April 2012 | | 6 comments

Nearly eight out of 10 parents surveyed (78%) fear their son or daughter will be involved in a car crash according to new research by Good Egg Safety.

The survey also shows that one in three mums and dads (29%) think their children drive too fast while 10% of parents worry that their offspring will be tempted to send or check text messages behind the wheel. Furthermore, one in 10 parents are concerned their child will drink or take drugs when driving.

The survey of more than 1,000 parents has been carried out ahead of the launch of the new Good Egg Guide for Parents of New Drivers. 135,000 free copies of the guide are being made available to road safety teams, for distribution to parents across the UK.

Professor Steve Stradling, who sits on the Good Egg National Steering Group, said: "This publication will give parents the wherewithal to guide their children through the dangers during their fraught transition from anxious youngster to safe and careful driver.

“It focuses on avoiding all the factors such as distraction, tiredness, peer pressure, drink and drugs, and false confidence which can compromise the capacity to cope when behind the wheel."

Alan Kennedy, chair of Road Safety GB, said: “We are delighted to endorse this initiative and provide these potentially life-saving free guides to all our members across the UK. Keeping young drivers safer is a priority and this new parents guide will help do this.”

For more information contact Jan Deans at Good Egg Safety on 0131 667 8833.


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    I am an ADI and until regular compulsory driver training is introduced for full licence holders, I fear very little will change. Children learn by example from a very early age, and, unfortunately, when they get to 17, we have to start by undoing the things they have ‘seen’ and taken to be normal when driving. We only have them for a small snapshot of their lives and then they go off into the driving world and the bad habits develop from mature drivers. It is not easy to obey the speed limit when another car is so close to your rear end, not easy to decide where cars are going at a roundabout because no-one bothers to indicate correctly, not easy to judge whether a driver is going to jump a red light at a junction or pedestrian crossing, not easy to decide if the cyclist ahead will move out round the pothole into your path. Judith, my heart goes out to you. You are right, your children weren’t involved. Too many people drive as though the metal box that surrounds them helps make them immortal…. how very selfish……

    Jane – Surrey
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    One of the advantages of the Good Egg guide is that it offers information and ideas to help parents to discuss and agree with their almost adult offspring how to manage the risks that young drivers face as they acquire more knowledge, skill and experience. It provides a neutral, informative approach which can be a great help when discussing safety and risk with a young person who is keen to spread their wings and establish themselves – Mum or Dad won’t be sat in the back of the car when they need the advice the most. Providing advice and risk avoidance strategies that will be absorbed and ready for use at the appropriate time is more than an art and an effective booklet or any other medium is a useful and welcome addition.

    Honor Byford, North Yorkshire
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    Dear Judith

    Thank you for taking the time to put up your valuable comments. We are so sorry to hear of your loss.

    The comment you make is a valid one and we are certainly not demonising young drivers per se. Trying to keep them from being hurt by other road users is a significant challenge.

    It is a fact that the first 2 years of driving are the most dangerous period for newly qualified drivers with the first 6 months to a year being the most critical.

    Our recent poll of 1000 parents suggests that most are already aware of the dangers. What many might not realise, however, is they have more influence than they might think to help their son or daughter minimise the risks from their own inexperience.

    In the absence of Graduated Driving Licences, which we would like to see much more debate on, we are introducing a ‘Parent Pact’ which parents can use to negotiate certain driving behaviour in return for the use of the family car or their assistance with insurance.

    Please feel free to contact me directly if you’d like further information. Tel: 07980 851 360.

    Jan Deans Good Egg Safety
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    I am a member of a group that no parent wants to be in, that is the bereaved parents whose innocent sons and daughters were horrifically killed by older motorists. All the killers were in the commission of committing one or more criminal offences when they killed our children and young adults. Eg Hit & Run, Speeding, on mobile, ignoring traffic lights-junctions-crossings etc.

    Our children were not involved, as to be involved one takes part.

    How do we protect our children against this? It is easy to put the blame on the young, but although road death is the biggest killer and biggest violent killer of young people under 25 – the victims are ignored.

    Judith – Norfolk
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    Well done to all the Good Egg Team for this valuable work. For those parents who are concerned about their current or potential teenage driver, may I suggest they check out RoadDriver’s New Driver Monitoring Scheme, it’s effective and inexpensive to join.

    Charles Dunn RoadDriver.co.uk
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    We all fear all sorts of things – sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly. I once told a leading politician at that time that I was much more scared of living in the Police State he was building than of dying in a car crash.

    2009 numbers for child (0-17) road casualties were (K) 186 (SI) 4,004 (Slight) 17,980 and (ALL) 20,561. With perhaps 20m children in Britain, the corresponding % figures are (K)0.001% or 1 in 100,000 years (SI) 0.02% or 1 in 5,000 years (Slight) 0.09% or 1 in 1,100 years or (All) 0.1% or 1 in 1,000 years.

    The highest risks amongst these are of course run by older youngsters who drive when drunk, on drugs or using mobile phones, and the best advice for parents worried by such risks must surely be to do their utmost to ensure that their own children neither do these things nor consort with those who do.

    Idris Francis
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