Young Drivers – A Parental Viewpoint

Each time a young driver gets into their car, there is generally a mum or a dad out there worrying. Clock-watching remains a permanent fixture in many parents’ lives, until their little bundles of joy, keen to explore their newfound independence, return home from their journey safe and sound.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) recently conducted a survey and asked parents about their biggest fears with regards to the safety of their children when becoming young adults and gaining their independence. The survey was sent to parents who had children aged between 16 and 25.

The biggest fear for parents, not surprisingly, was of their children becoming seriously injured in a car crash, whilst out motoring. Of those surveyed, almost two thirds (62%), advised that this was their biggest concern.

James Dalton, Head of Motor at the ABI said: “Parents are right to be concerned for their children’s safety on the roads since car crashes are the single biggest cause of accidental death among 15-24 year olds. The survey findings highlight the need for Government to introduce reforms to reduce the tragic loss of young lives.

The Government Green Paper that was promised to look at tackling the problem has repeatedly been delayed. “We have long been campaigning for changes to help young people become safer drivers with our Campaign for Safe Young Drivers, but until action is taken, parents will continue to worry every time their child gets into a car. Every day of delay puts more young lives at risk on our roads.” (ABI – 28th August)

A third of parents surveyed, expressed their concern that their child would not reach their potential at school or university and 59% of parents surveyed, advised that they were worried about their child being unable to then find employment.

When asked questions regarding young adults’ smoking or taking recreational drugs, 31% of parents surveyed confirmed that they were worried about their child taking illegal drugs. However, less than a third of parents surveyed (27%) expressed their concern about their child smoking. This could be down to the fact that since the 1990s, there has been a gradual fall in smoking amongst 11-15 year olds. (ASH 30.7.14)

These statistics aren’t particularly surprising as parents obviously do have real fears about their children gaining their independence and venturing into the big wide world. However, work still needs to be done to make British roads safer more jobs available to young adults. There is still clearly a need to help alleviate serious parental fears. Or, maybe it’s simply a parents’ role – to worry for eternity.