In a move designed to reduce young road deaths, Co-op Insurance is driving home the importance of safe driving to thousands of secondary school students.

Nearly 25,000 people were killed or seriously injured on UK roads in the 12 months to March 2016 and according to Brake, the road safety charity, young drivers are far more likely to be involved in an incident than older.

Driver safety is a key championing issue for Co-op Insurance, and in partnership with Brake, secondary school students across the Co-op Academies Trust will benefit from interactive sessions which have safe driving at their heart.

According to Brake, drivers aged 17-19 only make up 1.5% of UK licence holders but are involved in 9% of fatal and serious crashes where they are the driver.

The initial session has took place in December 2016 with over 100 year 11 pupils at the Co-op Academy of Stoke. The lesson highlighted the issues associated with road safety and showed the impact on the life of somebody who made a wrong driving decision.

Catching games with students wearing glasses to show the effect of alcohol – ‘beer goggles’ – really highlighted the impact of alcohol on normal reactions.

The sessions, while being off the national curriculum, are also being used to enhance curriculum learning. In Stoke, students were set a mock GCSE English question on persuasive writing based on the contents of the session with teachers finding it really sparked debate and engaged students.

Co-op Insurance will now roll out the lessons in the four other secondary academies which form the Co-op Academies Trust.

James Hillon, Director of Products at Co-op Insurance, said: “Drivers under 19 are a third more likely to die in a crash than drivers aged 40-49 so it’s clear something needs to be done.

“We’re in a unique position as an insurer as we have a direct link to thousands of secondary school pupils across the Co-op Academy network.

“We truly believe that 11-16 year olds hold the key to making the UK’s roads safer in years to come and that is imperative that we educate this group, alongside Brake, not only on their own safety but the longer term impacts a bad driving decision at a young age can have on the rest of their lives.

“We’ve worked closely with the schools to ensure that this is an experience which has a positive effect on the student’s learning. We’ve already had a great response from the students in Stoke on the sessions and are now rolling out across the academies.”

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