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Gary Lineker launches young driver programme

20 March 2012

 Manchester United FC was the venue for the launch of a new educational approach for novice drivers.

Manchester United brought members of its under-18 womens’ Academy and were joined by students from Salford City College who are either about to learn to drive or have recently started driving.

Gary is teaming up with the award-winning team from  a2om CIC to launch Drive iQ – expert driving education to use before getting behind the wheel, through to taking the driving test. This advanced methodology provides free, state-of-the-art online ‘brain training’ modules for those preparing to get onto the road, as these essential behavioural skills are often missed in traditional teaching methods.

Drive iQ which won a coveted Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in 2011 is set to go some way to reducing the number of young drivers killed and injured on Britain’s roads. In 2010, 37% of all fatal road crashes happened to young drivers aged 16-29 – with 2,374 young people killed or severely injured in the UK*.

Gary Lineker joined  Sarah Rowley, CEO of a2om CIC and founder of the campaign, for a special launch event on 20th March hosted by Manchester United FC at Old Trafford.

Gary Lineker - ambassador to ingenie, the sponsor of the a2om CIC schools programme is a parent with boys driving or getting ready to make their way onto the road. He is taking an active part in the launch of Drive iQ to highlight the importance of educating, supporting and encouraging young drivers from the age of 16 upwards.

He said, “As a father with sons making their way out on to the road, I want to be sure they’re as prepared as they can be. Drive iQ is a great starting point and I would also encourage all parents to read the Parent Guide on the RoadSafe for Parents website to get an understanding of what is involved in the process and how to support your kids as they learn.”

The software has been developed in partnership with leading scientists and is designed to aid in the maturation of the brains frontal lobe. The e-learning course guides young drivers through a series of online modules which include lessons in eye-scanning, distraction and hazard perception. These modules hone the vital skills often neglected by young drivers and help with anticipating danger, controlling emotions and assessing risk. By addressing both night- time and poor weather driving and urban and rural driving, Drive iQ broadens the experience base of the novice driver beyond the day to day scenarios encountered in normal driving lessons.

Dr Lisa Dorn, leading psychologist and reader in Driver Behaviour at Cranfield University, who has been behind the development of the software said, “Automated responses to hazards only develop when neural pathways are laid down after repeated associations between a hazard and a threat. These automated pathways help an experienced driver avoid risky situations. a2om’s software education helps young people to develop skills in anticipating hazards and trains visual search strategies. Repeated exposure to online training clips helps to establish associations between hazards and adverse consequences.”

A recent survey by ingenie - the innovative new young driver insurance brand and published by RoadSafe - concluded that 49% of 17 – 25 year old drivers admitted to feeling nervous, under prepared, overwhelmed and scared the first time they drove alone – so, rushing to pass the test without additional educational support isn’t preparing young people effectively.

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