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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Learner Drivers need to be shown the Way by their Parents!

There is currently worldwide scrutiny of Driver Training activities and regulations as respective Governments and Transport Ministries finally realise that learner Drivers are not magically going to transform themselves into competent, safe and conscientious drivers!

Virtually every State in the America is evaluating its’ licensing laws and regulations at the moment as more and more young drivers take to the road and then obliterate themselves and their passengers.

In Australia and New Zealand tougher measures are being rolled out to control reckless and Drink Driving which clearly is a global problem!

The European Union is bringing in continual changes to Driver Education regulations and the format of Driving Tests. In fact in Europe currently mandatory Tuition before sitting a Driving Test is the norm as is the Regulation, Monitoring and Testing of Driving Instructors and Schools.

The recent announcement of the Regulation of Driving Instructors in Ireland is to be welcomed but it is long overdue and is only now being recognised as an integral part of the solution to the ever increasing level of accidents and road fatalities!

The cost of accidents to the Irish Exchequer is reckoned to be around € 1Billion per Annum. You don’t need to be an Einstein to realise that a fraction of this figure, if spent on Driver Education (and re-education for miscreants) would pay handsome dividends.

However the improvement of Road accident statistics can begin with a change in attitude of all existing Drivers. It is too late for a Parent to complain of the lack of Government Regulations after a son or Daughter has been killed!

Parents have a responsibility to guide their offspring to sensible decisions regarding Driving Lessons, choice of cars and certain other critical motoring standards, such as restricting the number of passengers carried until the Driver is competent.

We will wait anxiously to see exactly how the new Driving Instructor and Driving License proposals are enacted and what means of enforcement are employed.

Astral Driving School. Limerick. (c)2006
Wordpress Blog "Motorvating"

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Destruction Left by Motor Accidents—The True Cost!

Most people are clearly horrified by the Carnage on the roads but after the News bulletin has faded or the Paper thrown into the bin the horror subsides and we get on with our lives until the next broadcast, which in the case of the Irish Driving Scene is all too soon! Recent figures show 31 persons killed in Motor Accidents for the Month of MAY 2006.

The age group represented by the highest casualty figure is naturally, but sadly the 16 -30 category with 14 fatalities. Next up is the 30 -40 age group with 5 deaths; the 40 -50 age bracket with just 2 and also unsurprisingly the 50 -60 age group with 4 deaths and the over 60’s with 6. In this latter category 4 out of the 6 were over 70 which indicates a similar vulnerability to the youngest age group. Most of this older age group would have been pedestrians or passengers...

The facts speak for themselves. As a rough guide 33 per cent of all fatalities during May 2006 were in the under twenty five age group …most of these would have been Drivers and some would have been passengers. It is very common for a driver to be killed when involved in a single car accident which involves the driver losing control of the car and leaving the road at high speed and finally either hitting a wall or a tree or plunging into a dyke or ditch.

Losing control of a vehicle because of too high a speed for the road conditions is a common mistake made by very many young and untrained Drivers. If you undertake proper Driver Training at the outset before taking the Driving Test then this occurrence is likely to be very rare indeed.

In many accidents involving inexperienced Drivers, passengers are also killed or seriously injured with long term life changing injuries. The life changing aspects affect not only the injured parties themselves but their families as well.
We have always pleaded with our pupils not to carry other passengers until they have clocked up several years driving after passing their Driving Test and certainly not to be carrying young children especially some one else’s.

Young children are particularly vulnerable to serious injury in a collision as their bodies have not had a chance to grow and build strength as in an Adult .Non wearing of seat belts by children will almost certainly cause death in a serious accident! Yet we still see Parents driving with their children unbelted.

Apart from the human cost and suffering as a result of the aftermath of car accidents there is the hidden cost. Hidden to most people because they are only aware of the mangled bodies but to the Emergency Services and of course the State Coffers it is a very different story and far from hidden!

A spokes person for the Irish Insurance Federation gave some stark and sobering figures when interviewed recently:-
The average cost of a car repair following an accident equates to approximately €2,500.; €30,000 is commonplace in the case of personal injuries incurred and a staggering figure of up to € 4 or € 5 million in the case of deaths as a result of an accident.

The cost to the State of Motor Accidents is reckoned to be in the region of €1Billion per annum. To say that this is unsustainable is to understate the seriousness of the situation.

The introduction of sensible and enforceable Mandatory training for young Drivers and a system of Driving Test Management similar to most other European Countries would go a long way to reducing this carnage.

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