Welcome to the Andy Pilgrim Foundation © !
Below you will find a list of recurrent questions I have been asked over my 18 years speaking to children and new drivers ….
- Why is a race car driver talking to new drivers about driving on the streets?
- What information and knowledge helps parents with their new driver(s)?
- Why is it a problem if new drivers drive with the same distractions as their parents?
- Young children aren’t really watching my driving, are they?
This is a great question and it is one that I’m frequently asked! Let me answer it simply... The only point I focus on, when linking my racing with my street driving is “paying attention”. I have to pay attention 100% when racing and I use the same level of concentration when driving on the streets.
As a race car driver, I certainly can’t eat or text while racing, in fact, if I did, people would think I was nuts! Well, not to sound rude or anything, but I kind of feel that way when I see people eating or texting while driving out on the streets.
What information and knowledge helps parents with their new driver(s)? Why is it a problem if new drivers drive with the same distractions as their parents? Back to top.
Parents who have heard me speak or seen The Driving Zone © DVDs tell me I opened their eyes to many things they never thought about regarding their driving. I highly recommend parents to watch The Driving 2 DVD © with their children.
Let me explain one of the biggest points I emphasize to parents…. Most people who are parents of new drivers have at least 15 years of driving experience; over ninety nine percent of parents are not trained driving instructors.
The thing most parents don’t realize is that they are their child’s driving instructor for the first 15 years of their child’s life. Research is showing that over 70% of new drivers will drive exactly like their parents inthe sense of distractions. If parents drive distracted, 70% of children will drive this way too.
In most cases, if the parent eats while driving, the child eats while driving when they start to drive. If the parent texts while driving, the child texts while driving when they start to drive...If the parent does not wear a seat belt, the child won't want to wear a seat belt, on and on.
Let me explain why it’s a big problem for the child to drive as distracted as the parent. It is a big problem because parents have at least 15 years of driving experience and some skills to fall back on when they drive distracted. Parents and older drivers just about get by with this amount of experience helping them survive their distracted driving, at least most of the time!
If a new driver drives with the same distractions as their parents: they have virtually no experience or skills to fall back on. They cannot have the experience and skills to help them because they are new drivers and this is why driving distractions are a bigger problem for new drivers! This is also why we lose so many new drivers to fatal collisions and crashes: almost 7,000 a year sadly.
It’s always potentially deadly for new drivers to drive distracted.
Parents, you can see the problem. Please understand that any time your children are in the car they are watching you and will learn all about how to drive from you for 15 years before they get their chance to drive. If you want to help your children by the time they start to drive, be proactive and never drive distracted when they are in the car.
Also, take the time and explain to them exactly why you are not driving distracted. Explaining it to them will give them good information and when they see other parents or older drivers driving distracted with them in the car, they will tell you about it: you do need to know this.
Young children aren’t really watching my driving, are they? Back to top
If you doubt that kids learn young, let me tell you a quick story. Many times over the years I have been asked to go to career days for grades 1-3 by friends of mine. They ask me to dress in the racing suit and take my racing helmet. I lost count of how many times the children tell me how their mummy or daddy are race drivers and go really fast while driving on the streets and use the phone and text and eat while driving.
The first time I heard this, my eyes could not actually open any wider. Over the years I’ve become used to hearing it. Most of these children were 5 to 8 year olds, so, according to my nonscientific research: the children learn early, absorb early and are watching you parents like little sponges as you drive.