Young Drivers

News, Young Drivers

Ford develops Drug Driving Suit

Ford has created a unique suit to show young people the dangers of driving under the influence of illegal drugs.

Ford developed the suit together with scientists from the Meyer-Hentschel Institute in Germany to simulate some of the effects of drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and MDMA (commonly known as Ecstasy). These include slower reaction time, distorted vision, hand tremors and poor coordination. 

The new Drug Driving Suit has been incorporated into Ford's Driving Skills for Life young driver programme that has provided training to more than 500,000 people around the world since its launch 11 years ago. Young drivers will have the opportunity to experience the suit, and also receive hands-on training covering skills including hazard recognition, vehicle handling and distraction awareness..

"Driving after taking illegal drugs can have potentially fatal consequences for the driver, their passengers, and other road users," said Ford Driving Skills for Life Manager Jim Graham. "We have already seen how the Drink Driving Suit has a dramatic effect on those who wear it behind the wheel, and are confident that the Drug Driving Suit will have a similar impact." 

According to a European study, drivers who get behind the wheel after taking drugs are up to 30 times more likely to be involved in a severe crash.* Despite the risks, one in 10 people say they have accepted lifts from people they believe have taken illegal drugs.**

Like the Drink Driving Suit that Ford last year incorporated into the DSFL programme, the new Drug Driving Suit simulates the effects of reduced mobility, vision and coordination with padding and ankle weights, goggles and headphones. The team also introduced new features that simulate effects that are specific to illegal drug use.

"We know that some drugs can cause trembling hands, so we incorporated into the suit a device that creates just such a tremor," said Gundolf Meyer-Hentschel, CEO of the Meyer-Hentschel Institute. "Drug users sometimes see flashing lights in their peripheral field, an effect recreated by our goggles, while imaginary sounds are generated by the headphones. Additionally, the goggles distort perception, and produce colourful visual sensations - a side effect of LSD use."

Further details about the Ford DSFL program, including training dates and venues, plus how to enrol in the online training academy will be available online.

Young Drivers, News

Now Teens can Just Add Fuel too

Peugeot's fixed-cost motoring package, Just Add Fuel, is now available to teenage drivers.

Since launch in July 2010, over 27,000 UK drivers have taken advantage of Just Add Fuel but it has only previously been available to drivers aged 21 or older.

Now, thanks to the use of advanced telematics technology, younger drivers aged 18-20 choosing the Peugeot 108, can also benefit from the 3-year package which offers a single monthly payment to cover all motoring costs, including insurance, servicing, road fund licence (£0 on the Peugeot 108), and roadside assistance.

Neil Moscrop, Peugeot Brand Director commented: "Just Add Fuel is recognised as the most significant innovation in vehicle retailing for a number of years. Now we can widen its appeal even further, allowing a broader spectrum of drivers to experience the thrill of owning a new Peugeot car."

Just Add Fuel for those aged 18-20 is only available to Peugeot 108 buyers and is priced from £248 rental per month. A discreet plug-in telematics device is sent to customers immediately after they take delivery of their car and attaches to the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) port under the steering wheel. It's a simple installation but Peugeot Dealers will be happy to help if required.

Via satellite tracking, it stores and sends data on the vehicle's speed, acceleration, deceleration and lateral G-forces to assess the customer's driving style and rate each journey made, on a scale from 1-100. 

Customers will have access to an online portal where they can review their driving activity. This is also regularly monitored by the insurer and an aggregate score awarded.

Feedback is provided to assist the customer in improving the score if necessary, but if it falls below an agreed threshold, the driver will receive a warning. Four warnings a year will result in the insurance policy being cancelled and may also reduce the number of insurance products available to the customer, and/or increase the premiums they are quoted.

Terms and conditions apply, including a requirement for a full UK driving licence, permanent UK residency and no 'fault' insurance claims. 

Just Add Fuel with telematics is also available to Peugeot 108 buyers aged 21-75 who do not have two years' No Claims Discount, or have held a full UK driver's licence for less than two years.

News, Young Drivers

Motoring organisations campaign for schools to teach driving

Major motoring organisations and experts are backing the Government to include driving on the school curriculum.

A petition has been launched in a bid to help cut the high number of accidents involving newly qualified drivers on the UK's roads. Launched by Young Driver, the UK's largest provider of pre-17 driving lessons, the petition already has backing from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), the RAC, the Driving Instructors Association (DIA), the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the Motor Schools Association of Great Britain (MSA), Admiral, Goodyear and motoring presenter and expert, Quentin Willson.

One in five new drivers has an accident within six months of passing their test and road traffic accidents account for 25 per cent of the deaths of 15-19 year olds in the UK, compared to just 0.5 per cent of the overall adult population. Every year 400 people are killed in accidents involving young drivers.

The petition does not propose lowering the age at which people can take to the roads, but instead suggests youngsters should start to be taught about driving at school, via both practical and classroom based lessons.

Independent research undertaken on behalf of Young Driver showed that past pupils of the scheme, which takes students from age 11, are half as likely to have an accident when they do pass their test. Pilot studies in Europe have also shown a 40 per cent reduction among novice driver groups who trained at school.

Kim Stanton from Young Driver explains: "Learning to drive should be done over a long period of time, and from a young age, when pupils are more receptive to safety messages. Evidence-based research shows that road safety messages are better absorbed by children in their early teens rather than at driving age. By having this take place at school it can be made inclusive for all. We urge people to sign this petition so we can get this issue in front of the people with the power to change things."

Mark Lewis, Director of Standards for the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), added: "The high number of accidents and the sad loss of life as a result of unprepared young drivers urgently needs to be tackled. Quite obviously the driving education that youngsters are currently receiving is inadequate. At the IAM we can help prepare people for more advanced driving situations once they have passed their test, but there needs to be more done at an earlier stage. Learning such an important skill shouldn't potentially be done and dusted in a few short months. That's why I strongly believe people should sign this petition and get the subject debated in the House of Commons."

Quentin Willson added: "Both my son, age 16, and daughter, age 11, have started having driving lessons with Young Driver. I think it's vital - it's a road safety revolution in the making. If we could get this on the curriculum, so the opportunity was open to all, it would have huge ramifications in terms of the safety of our young people. And, as both a father and road user, that's certainly something I want to back. 100,000 signatures could help save 400 precious lives every year."

To add your signature to the petition visit: