Should kids be learning to drive from the age of 10?

23 Jan 2019

Some people might think that even 17 is too young for people to be learning to drive, so the idea of children getting behind the wheel at the age of ten will seem absolutely crazy.

However, there is one organisation that is committed to this idea and is offering special driving lessons for ten to 17-year-olds.

Young Driver, which is sponsored by Vauxhall, claims that teaching children the basics of driving from this young age can offer some major advantages.

Career and confidence benefits

Young Driver surveyed 1,000 motorists under the age of 25 and found that 44 per cent of respondents felt learning to drive is so important that it should be added to the school curriculum.

The number of teenagers taking driving lessons is reportedly in decline, but 39 per cent of under-25 drivers said had they not passed their test, it would have reduced the opportunities available to them.

Furthermore, the research revealed that approximately one in five motorists (19 per cent) - the equivalent of 6.25 million people nationwide - believe they wouldn't be able to do their jobs if they couldn't drive.

In addition to the practical advantages of being able to drive, it's thought that getting behind the wheel of a car from a young age can help to boost teenagers' confidence. This could be an important issue today, with a quarter (25 per cent) of parents admitting they worry about how difficult it is for youngsters to feel confident.

More than half (53 per cent) of drivers under the age of 25 said passing their test gave them a "huge" confidence boost, while 44 per cent felt that driving gave them a sense of self-confidence they wouldn't have otherwise.

Laura White, marketing manager at Young Driver, said: "At Young Driver, we see it all the time – we're teaching those who are not legally able to be on the road yet, sometimes as young as ten, but they get a massive boost when they know they're controlling a car safely and can tackle a manoeuvre that even parents might struggle with."

How the lessons work

The idea behind this scheme might create terrifying visions of ten-year-olds causing havoc on the roads, but the lessons are specially designed for those who aren't yet old enough to get a provisional licence.

They take place on private property that has been developed to replicate an actual road system.

Young learners have to negotiate junctions, traffic lights, roundabouts, car parks and road signs, and keep a diary to monitor how they are progressing.

The lessons are provided by qualified driving instructors in dual-controlled Vauxhall Corsas, and anyone over the age of ten and more than 1.42 metres tall can take part. More than 600,000 lessons have been delivered to date at Young Driver's 60 venues around the UK.

Ms White concluded: "Driving is a useful skill, which can open up a world of opportunities which might otherwise be impossible. But even beyond that, it also has the ability to give people a sense of freedom and confidence."

Whatever your views on children learning to drive from the age of ten, it's certainly true that getting your licence at a young age can open up a range of career and business opportunities.

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