How to support your new solo P Plater

Written by Andrew Coates

The scariest time in a Parent’s life is the day they wave their brand new P Plater out of the driveway as the excited P Plater embarks on their first independent drive.  If parents felt vulnerable throughout the 100 hour logbook process with only a handbrake and a loud voice to keep both of them safe … Now they have to entrust those hours of practice and lessons learned to their excited P Plater, in that they will come home in one piece. 

As a driving instructor having conducted thousands of driving tests, this is a common conversation I have with Mum or Dad on the day they pass their practical driving test.  Also as the first trainer on the Gold Coast offering the national government funded program keys2drive, I have been remind parents for the last 7 years that a P Plater is more likely than not to have a crash in the first 6 months of solo driving.  What we promote in this free driving lesson is that to hold the good habits you have taken on in those 100 hours is simply a “conscious choice” to continue using them in those first 6 months of ‘independence’.  Young drivers are more likely to maintain good driving habits and less likely to crash by maintaining a “mindful’ approach to their driving during this period.

It’s important to remember also that it is not only the ‘hoon’ stereotype that we are all concerned with at this important life cross-road, its often the nervous or anxiety driven P Plater that has the potential to second guess themselves in a moment of indecision in an emergency. 

This is why we offer an “At Risk P Plater” Safe Driving Behaviours half day training course.  This course is run with up to 3 people per group, using their own vehicles to ensure comprehensive training both theory and practical to develop their P Plater hazard perception, reactionary responses and crash avoidance skills.

We have parents call us after a P Plater has had a bingle or they simply because have concerns about how safe their P Plater is on the roads or SPUR fines are coming home.  As we tell these parents these are the “warning signs” of what tends to become a traffic offender. 

Streetwise also offer a Traffic Offender Intervention program recognised by the Magistrates Courts in NSW and Queensland, we see all too often how a stretch in the leniency of one’s own driving behaviours can eventuate in serious traffic offences.  To help mitigate the likelihood of loose, lazy or dangerous driving behaviours, we utilize the knowledge of years of training and rehabilitation of real offenders to work with At Risk P Platers for preventative training with amazing results in change of attitude, behaviours, knowledge and ability.  To find out more about our individualised training courses, call Streetwise – mention this blog and additional attendees get 25% of the booking price when booking one full price Safe Driving Behaviours Course.

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