Checking the car, phone usage, road rage, speeding and conquering fear all make the top 10 resolutions for UK motorists, according to research from Young Driver, the organisation established in 2009 with the aim of helping to teach youngsters to drive over a longer period, and thereby encouraging a safer generation of new drivers.
When it comes to the UK’s motorists setting their New Year’s Resolutions, learning how to reverse properly claims three of the top 10 spots.
After committing to checking tyres and oil levels more regularly, which is a resolution for one in four drivers, learning how to parallel park properly is second on the list, with 17 per cent of drivers wanting to perfect the skill. To “get better at reversing” was something one in seven felt they needed to do in 2018, whilst reversing into a parking bay was a worry for one in eight.
However, a confident one in five (18 per cent) felt they were such a perfect driver, there was nothing they’d need to work on or change next year.
The research was conducted by Young Driver, the UK’s largest pre-17 driving school, to see what seasoned drivers felt they hadn’t ever got to grips with properly since they took to the roads – or what bad habits they’d picked up.
Worryingly, using a phone behind the wheel still emerges as a major concern, with 13 per cent of drivers saying their resolution is to switch it off when they’re behind the wheel. Eleven per cent admit to checking messages while at traffic lights, and eight per cent say they need to stop using their handset whilst driving.
Fear is also a common barrier for drivers, which they’d like to combat in 2018 – conquering nervousness about driving on motorways is a challenge for one in six drivers (16 per cent), whereas rural roads are the worry for one in 10.
Other resolutions mentioned included keeping the car clean and tidy, being more confident behind the wheel, and driving more frequently.
Laura White, head of marketing for Young Driver, which provides lessons for 5-17 year olds at more than 50 venues across the UK, said: “At Young Driver our instructors obviously spend a lot of time teaching youngsters the right and wrong way to drive – but of course children are watching and learning from their parents all the time. If you’re showing them it’s ok to take a call behind the wheel, or to get mad when another driver cuts in, they expect that’s how everyone drives.
“One in five newly qualified drivers will have an accident within six months of passing their test, and research shows that starting them learning from a younger age can half that risk – but it’s also vital that they have good role models to learn from outside of their lessons.
Plus, it seems that demonstrating how to reverse or parallel park well might be an issue for quite a lot of people! Many drivers end up avoiding doing things, because they’re nervous, and then they lose the knack – so we’ve created some ‘how to’ videos so everyone can brush up on their basic manoeuvres, learners and experienced drivers alike!”
Young Driver’s ‘how to’ videos can be found on its website at www.youngdriver.com and include parallel and bay parking, doing a turn in the road and reversing round a corner.
Anyone over the age of 10 and above 1.42 metres tall can get behind the wheel of a brand new dual control Vauxhall Corsa with a fully qualified ADI driving instructor. Lessons take place on private property which has been developed into a realistic road system complete with road signs, junctions and car parks. A Drive Diary is kept to monitor progress. More than 500,000 lessons have now been given and there are more than 50 venues to choose from across the UK.
Young Driver Motor Cars Ltd, a subsidiary of Young Driver, launched Firefly, the world’s first electric car developed especially for 5-10 year olds, in September 2016. The car is available to drive at selected venues.
The Top Motoring New Year’s Resolutions for 2018
To check tyre pressure and oil levels regularly (24 per cent)
To learn how to parallel park properly (17 per cent)
To conquer fear of driving on motorways (16 per cent)
To get better at reversing (15 per cent)
To not get road rage (14 per cent)
To perfect reversing into a parking bay (13 per cent)
To switch off phone when driving (13 per cent)
To speed less (11 per cent)
To stop checking messages when at traffic lights (11 per cent)
To conquer fear of driving on country roads (10 per cent)
To be more courteous to other road users, including cyclists and pedestrians (9 per cent)
To stop using a phone behind the wheel (8 per cent)
To always use indicators when turning (9 per cent)
To use mirrors more (8 per cent)
To not drive so close to the car in front (5 per cent)