Cardboard Grandmother Gives Support To Young Drivers
We recently marked International Youth Day with some top tips for young drivers from Britain's top advanced driver, Peter Rodger.
However, it's unlikely that even the most sun-baked of peyote and sangria trips would have caused Peter to dream up this aid for young drivers. It's not so much “thinking outside the box” as “thinking outside the flat-pack box”.
Behold the flat-pack granny.Grandmother Stands For Comfort
Mollie Courtney is a recent Graphic Design graduate of Kingston University. Responding to a Royal Society of Art brief to overpower the dangers facing young drivers through the power of design, she interviewed a number of young drivers in an attempt to pinpoint the factors that influenced their driving style.
She discovered that nothing tempers the often-erratic behaviour of young drivers like the presence of an older relative. Having a grandparent in the car, she found, often forces young drivers to clean their cars inside and out, play their music quieter and – crucially – drive slower.
It was this that influenced the creation of the flat-pack granny. The prototype was a likeness of her own grandmother, which she promptly strapped into her passenger seat before undertaking a drive to Brighton as part of her project. One must assume that the drive proved incident-free. Granny was watching, after all.There's No-One Quite Like Grandma
According to current RAC figures, one in five young drivers aged 17-24 will have an accident within six months of passing their driving test. Though there's not much in the way of hard research to go by, it seems self-evident that young drivers might lower their standards when driving with their friends.
I know that's highly assumptive and unscientific of me, and I'd loved to be proved otherwise, but you know how it goes. “Drive faster, Billy. Come on Billy, drive faster. We're going to be late for the discotheque”.
Yeah, I'm still with it.
Mollie's solution is brilliant. She's presented an online application called SAVE Yourself, where young drivers can immerse themselves in facts and figures before tempering their worst excesses with a bespoke cut-out of their own grandparents.
Their participation wouldn't go unrewarded. In exchange, they could look forward to lower insurance premiums.
Lower insurance premiums in exchange for having a cardboard cut-out of your grandmother in the car at all times? It seems unlikely. But the idea that there might bean incentive for young drivers to address the dangers facing them certainly has legs.