Young driver accident fatalities in New Zealand are the highest in the OECD. In 2019, young drivers in New Zealand aged 15–24 were involved in 92 fatal traffic crashes, and 778 serious traffic crashes.
Fatal crashes where the driver’s contribution is significant, such as loss of control, driving too fast for the conditions or inexperience, are 2–3 times more likely to involve 15–24 year old drivers, than drivers 25 years and older.
Learning to drive is an exciting, but nervous time for young drivers and their parents/caregivers. The good news is that there are many resources and courses available to increase young drivers confidence and driving skills.
Getting your learner drivers license is no longer a case of book learning which doesn’t suit all learning types. The New Zealand Transport Agency and ACC have created a powerful interactive learning tool for learner and restricted drivers as well as those acting as learner driver coaches. Drive is a free website that steps young drivers through the road code and the essential skills to make you a great driver. And you can do it all from your phone or computer.
Young drivers work their way through the road code sections and the skill units such as basics of the road, speed limits and road signs. Test questions will check their progress to ensure they are on the right path and a section on tricky test questions is one to have fun testing parents knowledge out on.
In New Zealand, young drivers are overrepresented in fatal and serious crash statistics. Young drivers car choices are a large part to play in this. Research from Monash University into crashes involving young New Zealand drivers suggests that if all teens drove the safest car available (of the same age as their current car), death and serious injury rates for young drivers could be reduced by more than 70 percent. Safer vehicles are often viewed as having to be newer and therefore more expensive, however the latest used cars safety ratings show a range of vehicles with a 4-5 start rating for an affordable price. View the Right Car used safety ratings.
Right Car is a resource that helps vehicle buyers choose safer, cleaner and more economical cars. It contains data on safety, fuel economy and vehicle emissions to help you make a great choice for yourself or your young driver. You can also search your current number plate to see how your current vehicle compares.
Leading Learners is a dynamic driving course for Selwyn teenagers and their parents or caregivers, coordinated by Selwyn District Council. Leading Learners is not your traditional defensive driving, classroom lesson or school based environment. We’re a half-day event, offering a practical hands-on learning experience and providing young drivers and their parents/caregivers the opportunity to undertake supervised driving practice. This provides the parent the opportunity to also assess themselves, in order to be a better coach and mentor to their teen.
Leading Learners is held at Mike Pero Motorsport Park (Ruapuna) and is taught by a team of qualified driving instructors.
It offers sessions that cover the following areas;
- Driver Distraction
- Emergency Braking & Skid Avoidance
- Road Surfaces
- One-on-One Driving Lesson
- Driving Simulator
The learner must have a current New Zealand learner licence that they have held for at least three months, and have had around 40 hours of practical driving practice. We also encourage those holding restricted licences to attend.
This is an amazing opportunity to increase your learner driver’s skills and knowledge and is offered for only $20. This course is heavily subsidized by the NZ Transport Agency and Selwyn District Council.
The learner must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver for the full session. The parent or caregiver must provide a car to be used by the learner for the event. The car must be one that the learner has driven before and has a current registration and warrant of fitness and be roadworthy at the time of the event.
To find out more and register your interest, please contact the Road Safety Education Coordinator at the Council, (03) 347 1867 or firstname.lastname@example.org