The number of drivers aged between 17 and 25 years old killed or injured on Northamptonshire’s roads has increased by 12 per cent in the past year, latest statistics have revealed.
In total 171 young people were injured in cars or taxis in the county in 2013 compared to 152 in 2012. The number of people killed fell from two to one while the number of people seriously injured increased from 20 to 27.
In response to the slight increase in crashes involving people aged between 17 and 25 years old, driving instructors in the county are being taught how to prepare their pupils for life on the road once they have passed their tests in a course run by Northamptonshire Police.
More than 40 instructors from across the county took part in the Engage training sessions, which teach them how to make learner drivers aware of issues which do not come up on the test – such as how to cope with peer pressure, stress and fatigue while driving.
Andrew Love, who is both a driving instructor and a volunteer with Northamptonshire Police, helped organise the event.
He said: “Teaching somebody to pass a driving test covers how to actually drive a vehicle safely. This course shows instructors how to teach their pupils to drive on their own in the real world.
“When young people are out driving by themselves, there’s often a lot going on and we need to teach them how to cope with things like peer pressure from their friends in the car and what to do if they feel tired while they’re driving.
“I think all of the instructors who took part in the course found it very useful.”
Driving expert Ian Edwards led the Engage courses, which ran in Northampton and Corby this week.
He said: “The course is all about teaching young drivers to deal with the pressures they don’t face on a driving test, because in real life they’re going to have to deal with these issues.”
After taking part in the course, the driving instructors pass on advice and tips to their students through discussions in the car and by setting simple tasks between lessons.
For more information on the Engage project, including a list of driving instructors who have taken part in the course, visit www.engagedriving.co.uk.