• Learning to drive is a rite of passage in our culture and people of all ages, ethnicity and gender are going through the highs and lows of learning to control a car alongside understanding the rules of our busy roads. Those that do not yet drive, or are not learning to do so see other people driving all the time either from a passenger seat or as we are driven passed in the street, which can leave us feeling that driving and the attention required in order to remain safe is just a formality. I see people regularly divide their attention between the road ahead and their mobile phones, changing the radio station or even adjusting their appearance.  My point is we all leave ourselves open to accidents through performing tasks we judge are safe while driving. It‘s your judgement that keeps you and others safe as a driver. So are the aforementioned drivers and their judgement going to influence your decisions when you drive, do we all take safety in our metal boxes with a pinch of salt?

    There are other factors that can reduce your chances of being a safe driver. Having friends in your car can divert your full attention in a number of ways, depending on how strong minded and safety conscience you are. Friends can be a distraction when driving; even the number of friends in your car can have different effects on your concentration levels. One friend only has you to talk to, so will demand a certain amount your attention. I consider a pupil being able to chat to me and knowing when to concentrate on the road ahead when needed a valuable part driver training. having more friends in the car can be distracting in another way, with everyone talking you might catch yourself  joining in or you may even just be distracted by the noise alone, I remember how distracting  just  listening to the radio was when I first learned to drive. It takes a strong minded kind of person to know when you need to focus on the road and when you can divide your attention.  As we know, especially at a younger age, someone you want to impress can have an effect on your driving style as you try to use your driving prowess as a mating ritual; I have seen many a young person ripping past with a young girl or boy trying not to look scared in the passenger seat, and god forbid there are two on the same road, no one is safe. Even now when I drive and a good uplifting tune is coming out of the speaker I come over all unnecessary and I drive with a bit more enthusiasm, it affects the best of us as we all want to feel good.

    The most important part of driving and becoming an adult is taking responsibility for your actions, after all if we don’t take responsibility how can we bask in the glory of getting it right or learn from our actions if we make a mistake. Most people that are learning to drive are at the age in life, to one degree or another, where they are also being given and are taking more freedom from their guardians to make their own decisions. The decisions we make in the earlier part of as we transform from child to adult can have a profound effect on our future life and sometimes on the future of others. For example where would we be if Alexander Fleming had decided to become a footballer?  Many of the pupils in our schools around the country are making decisions about their ongoing study in relation to their long term future and employment in order to make their lives and the lives of those that may one day depend on them better.