The Benefits of Drivers Education for Teenagers

Qualifying for a driving licence in the UK isn't easy. Teenagers must pass both a practical test, or a road exam, and theory test in order to qualify for a full licence, and many candidates do not pass in the first instance. After qualifying for a full licence, further drivers education may be the last thing on a teenager's mind. However, teens can reduce their risk of motoring offences and accidents considerably by continuing their education after they've obtained their licence, and there are drivers education benefits for adults too.

Reducing the Risk of Accidents

The incidence of auto accidents is highest among young drivers who have recently qualified for a licence. In fact, newly qualified drivers may have a higher risk than learner drivers who are still driving under a provisional licence. Whilst learners must be accompanied by an experienced, licenced driver, newly qualified motorists are free to drive on their own. Without the guidance of an older motorist, new drivers may be more likely to take risks, drive too fast or overlook traffic signs.

During the first two years after qualifying for a licence, new drivers must go through a probationary period. During this time, a new driver's licence may be revoked if the driver reaches or exceeds 6 penalty points. In order to regain a full licence, a driver must first apply for a provisional licence and pass the practical and theory exams again.

Advanced drivers education for teenagers can minimise the risk of automobile damage and injuries by helping teens improve their response to common hazards and reinforce their knowledge of traffic laws. Although the practical and theory exams administered by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency, or DVLA, are comprehensive and challenging, teenagers may require additional instruction on specific driving situations, such as urban or rural driving, driving in adverse weather conditions or negotiating motorways.

The Pass Plus course was developed by the Driving Standards Agency, or DSA, to help newly qualified motorists lower their risk of accidents and sharpen their driving skills. The Institute of Advanced Motorists, or IAM, also offers an advanced drivers training course for teens to make them safer and more confident on the road. Drivers education gives teenagers the opportunity to address specific traffic situations or driving habits with a qualified instructor in a secure setting.

Lowering Car Insurance Costs

In general, teenagers pay more for car insurance than any other age group. Car insurance companies base their rates on the level of risk that a driver presents, and because teens have a higher rate of accidents than older motorists, insurance costs are almost invariably higher. Young male drivers, in particular, may have exorbitantly high car insurance rates because this demographic group has such a high rate of auto accidents and claims.

Completing the Pass Plus course or a drivers education programme through the IAM may lower the cost of car insurance for teenagers. Many insurers offer a discount to teens who have earned a certificate through the Pass Plus programme. In addition, the skills that teens acquire through advanced drivers education will help them to establish a clean driving record, avoid making claims and earn a valuable no claims bonus.

Young, newly qualified motorists may have difficulty perceiving the benefits of drivers education for teenagers until they learn that completing an advanced course may lower their insurance costs. Drivers education allows teens to hone their skills, sharpen their response to hazards and deepen their knowledge of the rules of the road. Parents can set an example for teens and may lower their own insurance rates by taking a refresher course for adult motorists.

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