Earlier this week, the RAA announced it will now offer free advice on safe cars in an effort to reduce road trauma.
The ‘Keys2drive’ program is part of a national road safety initiative which also offers free driving lessons.
The free Keys2drive lessons will teach learners and their parents the importance of driving the safest car they can afford, based on vehicle safety ratings.
Keys2drive is funded by the federal government and supported by state motoring organisations, including RAA.
RAA’s Senior Manager Community Engagement Ben Haythorpe said Keys2drive has offered a free, one-hour driving lesson by a qualified instructor to a learner driver and their parent or supervisor to improve their road safety skills since 2009.
Since 2009, there have been around 11,000 free lessons provided to 22,000 participants across South Australia, Mr Haythorpe said.
“Keys2drive aims to prevent death and injury of young drivers, especially those on their first six-months of P-plate driving,’’ he said.
“This will be enhanced, as the driving instructors will now also pass on key messages to learners and their supervisors about car safety.
“Following the Keys2drive lesson, learners and supervisors will receive a link to a short RAA-produced video, which is aimed at reinforcing key messages from the lesson.”
These lessons include:
• Drive the safest car you can afford
• A safer car doesn’t have to be brand new
• P-platers should drive the safest car in the household
• Search ‘ANCAP’ or ‘Used Car Safety Ratings’ online for more information.
ANCAP Chief Executive Mr James Goodwin said: “Younger drivers face a double vulnerability on our roads, as they generally drive older, less safe vehicles and are the most inexperienced.”
“ANCAP research shows vehicles older than 15 years are involved in 36 per cent of fatal crashes compared with newer vehicles which are involved in far fewer at 12 per cent,’’ Mr Goodwin said.
“Vehicle choice is an extremely important consideration for any new driver and we encourage learners and parents alike to check the ANCAP safety rating of the car they will be driving to make sure it is the safest choice.’’
Mr Haythorpe said research by the University of New South Wales revealed Keys2drive participants were 40 per cent less likely to be involved in a crash that causes moderate to serious injury in their first six months on P-plates.
Tragically, latest state government figures showed on average 83 drivers under the age of 25 were killed or seriously injured on South Australian roads each year between 2013 and 2017.
Once a young driver gains their P-plates, their crash risk increases 20–30 times, the figures also revealed.
Learners can register for a free lesson here.