Keys2drive supports young drivers

Safety

Help make your learner driver safer on the road with the free Keys2drive program.

Young woman gets driving lesson with mother.

A teenager you know has just come to you with their bright yellow L-plates and asked you to help them practise.

Are you proud? Excited? Terrified?

You’re probably all three, but support is out there to help you de-stress and make your new driver safer on the road.

Statistically, the safest time for any driver is on L-plates with a supervising driver alongside them. But the minute they gain P-plates their crash risk jumps 20-30 times, and it stays high for at least six months. Often, it’s to do with the type of driving experience a learner’s had.

Imagine this: your learner gains most of their minimum 100 logbook hours by driving back and forth from school or sports practice, in the same car, on the same road, at the same time of day, with you sitting next to them as a source of advice and guidance.

They pass their P-plate driving test, now they’re ready to go it alone.

You’ve done a great job, right?

Well, maybe, but think about your learner driver having to make important decisions on their own.

Think about when they’re driving at night, in the rain, on a busy highway, with a friend in the front seat and music playing – and you’re not there to guide them.

Have you equipped them to deal with such situations confidently and safely?

Free driving lesson

Funded by the Australian Government and sponsored by Australia’s motoring clubs, including RACQ,  Keys2drive helps supervisors navigate the sometimes-tricky path towards their learner driving independently.

“We provide a free, one-hour driving lesson for learner drivers and their parent or supervisor,” Keys2drive’s National Project Manager Aaron Wilson said.

“Keys2drive aims to reduce the high crash risk for new P-plate drivers and help them build a foundation for a lifetime of safe driving.

“One way the lesson does this is by showing learners and supervisors the safety benefits of Long, Wide, and Deep experience on the road.”

Long experience

Long experience is practising driving skills and tasks over and over until habits take hold.

Your learner doing a reverse park between two cars at the local shopping centre or overtaking a B-double truck on the highway a couple of times won’t cut it – these manoeuvres need lots and lots of practise for safety’s sake.

After a while, ‘long experience’ will help your learner manage normal driving situations when their mind is elsewhere. You can test this by asking your learner a challenging question while they’re performing a routine driving task to see how they respond.

If they struggle, they might need more practise.

Wide experience

Your learner tells you they’ve mastered the parallel park.

Right, but what about on a busy road, in peak hour, in a tight space?

They’re saying they know everything about driving on a winding road.

Sure, but what about at night, in thick fog, with the threat of wildlife jumping onto the road?

For a learner to gain ‘wide experience’, they do loads of driving in situations that are new and difficult.

They drive different vehicles, on different roads, in different conditions, at different times of day.

After a while, a learner builds a store of knowledge and experience they can use to help them manage the situations they’ll face by themselves on Ps.

Deep experience

When your learner gains ‘deep experience’, they learn to notice (without your input) how they feel when they drive, they find their own mistakes and they fix them next time.

With ‘deep experience’, your learner gradually takes on the power and experience of their three ‘outside helpers’ – the supervisor, instructor, and assessor – and replaces them with inside thoughts. This helps your learner take control of their own safety, instead of relying on others to tell them.

Click here to register your learner for a free Keys2drive lesson

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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.