Chelsea FC players benefit from specialist young driver training
- Taking place during National Road Safety Week (19-25 November)
- Courses being held at football clubs across the country
Young Chelsea FC footballers are marking Road Safety Week by taking part in specialist driver training in a bid to keep them safe on the roads.
A group of players from the club’s Academy will undergo the training with driving school BSM on Thursday, November 22, at the club’s training ground in Cobham, Surrey.
The scheme has been organised by the PFA and will continue throughout the season. Players, aged between 16 and 18, have the opportunity to get behind the wheel in a driving school car with a BSM instructor. If they already have their licence they will be taken out on the road for a refresher lesson and commentary driving.
If they do not have their licence they will take part in the off-road activities, like driving while texting and wearing ‘beer goggles’, to demonstrate how dangerous these activities are when driving. All the players will take part in classroom sessions to increase awareness of the general dangers of driving.
Mark Peacock, head of BSM, said: “Education is key to helping young drivers stay safe.
“Chelsea FC is setting a fantastic example by taking such a positive and proactive approach to keeping their young players safe on the roads.
“We know that young drivers are disproportionately represented in accidents and our own research shows how prevalent smartphone use is among young drivers. Tackling the problem head on with extra training and education is the best way to drive home vital road safety messages.”
Gerry Harvey, head of education at the Chelsea Academy, added: “At Chelsea, we take very seriously the safety of our young players on the road and believe we must educate them as much as possible in order for them to become good drivers.
‘It is important we support our scholars in their development off the pitch, and we are delighted to work alongside BSM on this project.”
Research* by BSM shows many young drivers risk their lives by using their smartphone behind the wheel.
Half of young drivers who have recently crashed say using their mobile phone was at least partly to blame.
The most popular reason for using their phone was to text (24 per cent), second was talking (15 per cent), next was to update social media (7 per cent) and lastly to use a smartphone app (6 per cent).
Many young people who have been involved in a crash as a passenger also believed the crash was at least partly caused because the driver was using their mobile phone.
It is perhaps no surprise then that the majority of young drivers (60 per cent) agreed updating social media when you are driving makes you more likely to have an accident.
Mark Peacock, head of BSM, added: “Using a mobile phone, whether you are texting, talking, using apps or updating social media, when you are driving is dangerous and illegal.
“Young drivers who have grown up with technology that encourages them to be contactable every minute of the day need to realise there are some situations when they need to concentrate on the present and ignore the lure of the phone and internet.
“Although it is a minority who are breaking the law in this way, we need to educate young drivers about these dangers so they are safer on the roads.”
Facebook was cited as the biggest social media distraction for young drivers with one in five (20 per cent) saying they have gone on the site while driving.
Regional variations highlight trouble spots across the country where young drivers are playing a dangerous game behind the wheel.
One in 10 young drivers in the West Midlands admitted to playing Draw Something while they were driving. The national average for this was only 4 per cent.
A quarter (25 per cent) of young drivers in the East Midlands said they’d used email behind wheel, more than three times the national average (7 per cent).
Londoners were the most likely to say they have used Twitter when driving (13 per cent), while one in ten Welsh drivers had watched youtube when driving.
Young drivers in the North East were most likely to have used Facebook on their phones when driving (28 per cent), the least likely to have done this were those in the South East (15 per cent).
OnePoll surveyed 1,000 drivers aged between 17 and 24 between 21stJune 2012 and 29th June 2012, on behalf of BSM.
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