Have you heard of Young Driver? Well they provide driving lessons for children aged 5-16 at one of their 45 UK centres. The primary force behind Young Driver is safety. Research has shown 1 in 5 new drivers have an accident in their first six months of driving but it is lack of experience rather than years on the planet that causes this. Hence getting experience in a car at a young age can only be a good thing!
For children aged 5-10 years of age the Firefly is offered. This is a 20 minutes lesson in a two seater car with an accelerator and brake pedal, steering wheel and indicators. The basics for getting a handle on driving. It costs £19.95 for the lesson.
Noah was very excited to have a go in this car on a mock road that had been assembled using cones and road signs.
Firstly we signed a form first containing all the usual safety rules, including one confirming that the child has not drunk alcohol that day which made us smile, and things like that. We then waited our turn and watched the other drivers on the course. It was quite a windy day and some of the signs were getting blown over but the instructors were picking them up and setting out the cones so the road was clearly marked.
Eventually it was our turn! Noah jumped in the driving seat and his instructor sat with him. The instructors are the country’s best driving instructors specifically trained to teach the under 17s. They had a little chat where Noah was shown how to use the car and then they set off! The cars are battery operated and don’t go that fast but as perfect for children to get a handle on what it feels like to drive the real thing!
After about 10 minutes, and when the instructor felt confident, I was invited to sit with Noah and we went for a spin around the course. He loved it! He started to use the indicators but we were advised not to do that as they can stick and on a first turn you really need to concentrate on the steering. Very good advice! He recognised when to “Give Way” and “Stop” following the road instructions and his steering was brilliant!
After the experience he said it had been “AMAZING!” which is praise indeed from Noah who takes things in his stride. He even got his first licence!
Watch this space for Part Two of our Young Drivers experience when Ethan drives a real car – including changing gear and reversing with me sat in the back seat!