‘Young Driver’ = Just as much danger as a middle age or old driver.
After reading the very inspiring blog: Young Drivers; Dangerous? I felt I wanted to reply to it and add to it with my own opinion!
It is nice to see that people share similar thoughts to me and that I am not the only one who things young drivers are being targeted as the dangerous ones.
They are the one’s who suffer the more expensive insurance (this is worth another blog completely…that will follow soon!), who get the police following them randomly, who in accidents pretty much get the blame without it even being said, get judged…oh well here goes!
I believe that it isn’t the age of the driver that makes them dangerous. If a 17/18 year old can have sex (bring up a child), can work full time and be in a position of responsibility e.g. working in a school, training to be a doctor etc…why would they be ‘too young’ to drive? There isn’t a clock in the brain and body which determines when the time is right! Everyone is different and it’s actually only a minority of young drivers who give the rest a bad reputation.
Older drivers can be just as dangerous, whatever their age. In fact from a passenger in many cars with older people they make me feel less safe as they are ‘comfortable’ and believe that they are ‘good drivers’ and ‘know the roads’. It’s when people get too comfortable on the road that makes them a hazard.
I wonder if driving tests should be re-sat or theory tests re-sat once in a while to check you are still suitable to be on the road and that you do have the correct knowledge to keep yourself and others safe? Perhaps once every 5 years or 10 years? In that time so many people get points or even loose their licences or are part of accidents on the road. Maybe re-sitting tests would keep everyone more wary of their behaviour on the roads?
If not that, then what about if driving tests were changed or followed up with another test? I know from my experience that driving tests can make you so nervous as you may be driving alone for the first time, however I knew the examiner had his own pedals and could potentially intervene if he wanted to. When I passed (first time yay!), I waited a few months to get my own car. I didn’t drive any other car so getting into my cute Fiesta was such a big deal to me and driving on my own felt terrifying.
I was a nervous driver and I did drive to all of the speed limits, I did take my time if I was unsure of oncoming traffic, I put my handbrake on when I stopped for longer periods of time, I indicated always even on the silent night trips, I never honked my horn unless I believed I was in danger and needed to make others aware of my presence.
Luckily, I still do all of the above but I am a little more relaxed and I do remember a lot of the things my wonderful driving instructor taught me.
Who is to say that once I got my car I completely forgot all of the road theory or how to actually drive. Basic things like checking mirrors, signalling, road positioning, checking the speed… A follow up test say like a couple of years after your first could help to check people are still safe? Even things like eyesight changes can have an effect on your driving.
It is such a hard problem to address, not everyone will be pleased – ever.
You just have to make sure that if you are a driver, you drive to the best of your ability. It isn’t a sport, it’s not cool when you speed, being on your phone is such a stupid thing to do when you drive and your life is not worth reading that text message or Facebook status.
If you are a passenger, I think you should not be afraid to speak up and let your driver know they are speeding or that you are uncomfortable that they are on their phone. If they don’t respect that they get out of the car!!