Pro-drivers teach young farmers road skills

Fifty Midlands young farmers took up the chance to hone their motoring skills with a team of professional racing drivers earlier this month.

Participants took to the Prodrive track in Kenilworth on 8 June with a professional driver in the passenger seat to review their performance, advise them on how to recover from major skids and point out any bad habits.

Part of the track was irrigated with water to mimic particularly treacherous surface conditions like wet roads and black ice. They were also taken out onto nearby country roads to learn how to “read” them, and taught how to maintain optimum tyre pressure and tread, for safety and fuel efficiency.

The course was offered as part of the NFYFC’s Drive It Home campaign which hopes to reduce the shockingly high accident rates among young rural drivers.

Places on the course were subsidised by NFU Mutual – to make the training more affordable for Young Farmers’ Club members.

Driving challenge

If the wider community of young rural drivers embraced the lessons learned on this course and reduced their accident risk, it could push down their notoriously high insurance premiums, said NFU Mutual’s equine and rural affairs specialist Nicki Whittaker.

“We insure an awful lot of people who use rural roads on a daily basis. If they use them every day there’s a bit of complacency there – they know them like the back of their hand. But they’re full of hidden risks and dangers.

“A lot of people I spoke to [at the event] had already had three accidents in a couple of years of driving. That’s one of the reasons young farmers’ premiums are so high. If we can reduce those accident numbers, those premiums will reduce.”

More on this topic

Read more about road safety and the NFYFC’s Drive It Home campaign on our special rural road safety page

See more