The role of parents/carers
Parents/carers have a valuable part to play as role models for their children's future driving behaviour. They can act as supervisors to enable their children to gain extensive supervised practice in driving in a range of situations and traffic densities. Following are suggestions and information for parents to assist their learner drivers to gain experience on the road and in learning how to drive safely. The more practice they have as learners, the safer they should be as novice drivers. This is why learner drivers need to gain 100 hours of supervised driving experience before they can gain their licence.
Parents/carers need additional understanding, skills and motivation if they are to be more active and effective in assisting their learner driver.
Programs are available to highlight to parents their role in providing supervised practice for their learner driver and the importance of this. For example, the Keys please* program run in Victoria.
Students plan a parent/carer evening at school to discuss the roles and responsibilities of parents/carers and learner drivers in getting the learner ready to drive. Students undertake a range of activities in this process including researching the information they wish to convey to parents, organising the venue, arranging invitations and RSVPs and inviting any guest speakers (for example, driver trainers, insurance brokers).
A tip for parents: If you are concerned about including your learner driver as a driver on your insurance policy, and the effect that will have on your premiums, there are insurance companies that recognise the value of extensive practice by learner drivers and their premiums reflect this. It is worthwhile to check around to get the best price and conditions that will include your learner driver. It is important to remember that learner drivers who gain extensive driving experience reduce their risks of being involved in a crash as a provisional licence holder.
Students plan an education campaign targeted at parents/carers to convey to them key information about what role they can play as a driving supervisor. This might include information about:
- being a role model to the learner driver. Research shows that family has a strong influence on early driver behaviour
- providing the learner driver with lots of experience in a range of driving environments
- being up to date with the information in 'Your keys to driving in Queensland' and ensuring the learner reads this before their road rules test
- commentary driving. That is, when you are driving explain what you are doing and why to your passenger learner driver. Point out potentially dangerous situations and explain how to safely avoid them. Have students practice counting '1001 ... 1002' (two seconds) as the vehicle in front goes past a static object so they can gain experience in leaving enough space between that vehicle and theirs. Point out potential hazards on the road.
Students role play the process of commentary driving. They present this to a parent/supervisor audience.
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