Young drivers need better education, reckons ex-DSA boss
7 February 2007

Why are road crashes the single biggest killer of young people in the UK? It's a no-brainer, reckons Gary Austin, ex-head of the Driving Standards Agency and now boss of driving academy a2om.

Austin claims that a major cause of these crashes is the immaturity of the drivers' brains, which are not fully mature until they are 25 years old.

"We will only make young people safe on the roads by changing attitude and behaviour," said Austin. "There is not a problem with the actual mechanics of driving; it is the young drivers’ immaturity that is causing the crashes."

While we can't exactly see this endearing Austin to his potential pupils, a2om has already attracted clients including the prestigious Harrow School. a2om's course, which is affiliated with Cranfield University in the UK, aims to provide significantly more education than is standard before young drivers even get behind the wheel.

“If we can exercise young drivers’ brains and accelerate development of the brain using neuroscientific stimulation techniques, then they will respond to driving situations in a more mature way and the number of crashes involving them will reduce,” reckons Austin.

But don't worry – the "neuroscientific stimulation techniques" don't involve attaching electrodes to your frontal lobes – instead there's around 100 hours of mental exercises, in-car teaching, on-line sessions and classroom discussions for six to nine months before the driving test. Successful candidates then get six hours of post-test instruction, including on the motorway, and insurance discounts through Royal & SunAlliance.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate
    First Drive
    19 March 2018
    The Mercedes-Benz E-Class could be all the estate car you’ll ever want — or it could be overkill. Let’s see which...
  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?