Learning to drive at 10 years old
So folks, I have a confession to make. I didn’t past that ‘ole driving test thing first time…or the third time. My excuse was hormonal overload due to having a tiny baby and zero sleep. That’s my story anyway and I’m sticking to it. Seriously it had nothing to do with the fact that I’d left learning to drive until I had a tiny newborn baby and no sleep.
No…no, no, no, no – I definitely didn’t peddle excuses like ‘London was too expensive to have a car’, and ‘we didn’t have anywhere safe to park one’, or that ‘I was travelling for a couple of years’ hide the fact that actually I was kinda terrified of getting behind the wheel of a few tonnes of moving metal. Honest.
Getting behind the wheel gets harder as you get older
Had I used my 17 year old ‘devil may care’ confidence and decided to learn to drive at the earliest opportunity then I doubt those fears would ever have crept in. I would have gained my road freedom some ten years earlier. But as you get older, as you see friends involved in crazy crashes, as you gain an appreciation of road dangers that your 17 year old self doesn’t see. Getting behind that wheel gets harder.
So when the opportunity came along for my 1o year old son and 12 year old daughter to have a real driving lesson, I jumped at the chance. Well I say jumped…they jumped and I worried for far too long!
YoungDriver offer 10-17 year old kids the chance to get behind the wheel of a ‘real life car’ a Vauxhall Corsa in our case, and learn to drive in a safe environment.
I can’t say I expected the kids to get far with driving in a 30 minute lesson but within five minutes of getting in the car they were off and away. It wasn’t an automatic either – they used gears, drove around a decent sized course and even in and out of cones – on lesson one! Most impressive of all (coming from someone who is, let’s just say, not the most capable of people when it comes to parking cars), they reversed their car into a parking space at the end of the lesson. #mindblown
An amazing experience
From our welcome at Doncaster Keepmoat Stadium, the experience on the track to the little log book they got to bring home, the whole experience was brilliant. The instructors were friendly and enthusiastic – I guess you have to be when you are putting your life in the hands of a 10 year old boy with a need for speed.
The main driving force (see what I did there!) behind the company is safety and getting kids and young adults comfortable with the experience of driving in a less pressurised environment. With 23% of 18-24 year olds being involved in an accident within two years of passing their test* any initiative that promotes safe driving, appropriate awareness of hazards and road confidence is a good thing in my book.
Ten years old
My 6 year old was most put out that she didn’t get to have a go. She is counting down the weeks until her 10th birthday. What she doesn’t realise is that once you hit 5 years old you can have a go in an electric car. Birthday treat here we come.
*data taken from Brake, the Road Saftey Charity.
We were gifted this opportunity by YoungDrivers but all opinions are my own.