It’s a rite of passage that signifies you are one step closer to adulthood. However, for any parent who has stood at the edge of the curb and watched as their child drives away for the first time knows, it can also be a time of intense fear and worry.
My mother, a single mother to four kids, somehow found a patience and courage previously unknown to mankind and taught each of us to drive. She then guided us all through obtaining our driver licences.
I’ll never forget walking out of that transport office, brandishing my shiny new licence to mum and practically itching to get home and jump into my newly purchased car. All so I could drive the streets solo for the first time.
But, with a few wise words of warning, my mother put my hooning dreams on hold, and explained to me that getting my licence was just the first step on what would be a long and winding road to becoming a safe, efficient driver.
In this regard, she could not have been more right. The fact is young drivers, aged 17 to 24 years, are six times more likely to be involved in a serious crash than when they were learning to drive with mum and dad in the seat next to them.
With this in mind, my mother laid down the law that just because I could drive alone, didn't mean I needed no more guidance from her.
There were still a lot of ways she needed to be involved in my driving life and now, looking back on those early days, I'm so very glad she did.
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So, if you have a child who has just scored their P plates, there is no need to hide their keys or let the air out of their tyres.