Research clearly shows the higher risk young drivers face. International research says in the first six months of driving alone, young, inexperienced drivers are eight times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash. Even after six months, teens are two to three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than experienced drivers. Other research shows that youth drivers are more susceptible to dangerous behaviour behind the wheel such as drunk or distracted driving.
The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says it is for this reason that the company is working to develop the MasterDrive Youth Driver Programme (MYDP). “Together with Castell Projects and Services, MYDP will help young, less experienced drivers learn how to drive proactively and avoid life-threatening situations wherever possible.
“We believe that by giving young drivers the proper training and raising awareness levels, these drivers will be encouraged to stop bad driving habits, learn how to avoid dangerous situations and then provide guidance on what to do in an emergency situation when it is unavoidable.”
The MYDP will increase access to driver training that goes beyond K53 training. “Our hope is that this training will provide young drivers with access to a more advanced level of training. It gives a group of individuals, who stand to greatly benefit from the instruction, a chance to be the best drivers they can be.
“It is a mistake to assume that obtaining a driving licence means a young driver is adequately prepared for South African roads. It takes further instruction, practice and skills. This will ensure parents have confidence when they put a young adult on the road, in their own vehicle, that they are more than equipped to safely make it to their destination and home again. The MYDP will play an essential role in giving both parents and their young drivers this confidence,” says Herbert.
Shamir Schloss, from Castell Projects and Services and partner in the MYDP, looks forward to working on the programme. “The youth are our future! We need to look after them and give them the best chance of success. This programme is an important part of critical life skills that will allow them to reach their full potential.”
Youth month is when the future leaders of the country are paid homage and attention is focused on providing equal access to the tools and skills needed to build their futures. Herbert says: “Being competent and capable drivers is an important part of getting started on this path to success. Sometimes it does not receive the attention that it should, especially considering the high road fatality rate involving young drivers.
“It is for these reasons that MasterDrive and Castell Projects and Services will be launching MYDP training during the month of June. We look forward to providing youth drivers with further skill enhancement and give road safety, amongst the youth, the due attention it should receive,” says Herbert.