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‘When do drivers start to learn to drive?’ is a question often posed when talking about road safety. Usually the response of 17 is given and a puzzled look appears when told that, in fact, it is at the age of five or six years when people start learning to drive safely.

The reason is that, while driving is a skill, more importantly it is a learned behaviour and that means children start to pick up signals from the behaviour of a driver in these early years – long before they can legally drive themselves.

In light of this, all those bad habits, unauthorised hand gestures and poor choice of language moments are things that tell your child: this is the way to behave when driving.

Being distracted by a phone or not paying proper attention are things many of us do and ones that set an example to anyone travelling with us in the car, including our children. Behaviour we are horrified to see in other drivers can sometimes become things we do ourselves. Getting away with poor driving tends to encourage us to do it all the more. Bad habits have a tendency to get worse.

UN Road Safety Week, which runs from 8-14 May 2017 is a good time for us all to stop and think about whether we actually are good drivers. What example are we setting and what danger are we prepared to accept by allowing even small distractions from the task in hand: as head of Lyons Davidson’s accident investigation team, I see the consequences of distractions from driving every day.

Driving is too risky for us not to give it the attention it deserves. Don’t speed or be tempted to use the phone. Set a good example and you will be safer on the roads.

For more information on any of the issues raised in this article contact or if you believe you have a road traffic accident claim you’d like to discuss with us, contact our Personal Injury and Accident Claims team or call 0117 904 6000.