Driving skills course in Warwickshire aims to stop young drivers taking ‘selfies’ at the wheel

Navigating the roads
Navigating the roads

South Warwickshire is one of three locations across the UK chosen to host a driving skills course for young people in the wake of research that has shown that more British young drivers are taking ‘selfies’ at the wheel than their counterparts across Europe.

Ford’s free Driving Skills For Life programme will take place at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon from October 3 to 5 and will include a section dedicated to highlighting the dangers of using smartphones while driving.

A Europe-wide survey undertaken by the company, which questioned 7,000 drivers and smartphone users aged 18 to 24, has shown that 33 per cent of British respondents said they were likely to use their phones to photograph themselves while driving, compared to 28 per cent in Germany, 28 per cent in France, 27 per cent in Romania, 26 per cent in Italy, 18 per cent in Spain and 17 per cent in Belgium.

Further research found that taking a ‘selfie’ at the wheel could distract a driver for 14 seconds, while checking social media sites could distract a driver for 20 seconds - long enough, if travelling at 60mph, to travel the length of five football pitches.

Ford’s Driving Skills For Life manager Jim Graham said: “It is deeply worrying that so many young drivers admit to taking a photo while driving and we will be doing all we can to highlight the potential dangers through driver education.”

During the training - which is also taking place in Glasgow, Chobham in Surrey and locations across Europe - participants will undertake slow speed manoeuvres while taking a ‘selfie’ on a closed facility with a professional instructor beside them at the wheel, so they can experience first-hand the degree of distraction. Instructors will also provide guidance on the importance of early hazard recognition and good speed and space management.

To find out more and register, visit forddsfl.co.uk