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New app to help young Kiwis develop safe driving skills and pass the restricted licence test

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Learn to drive safely and pass the restricted licence test, first time. That’s the concept behind Drive Go, New Zealand’s only official learn-to-drive app, which will be available for free from this Sunday (7 July).

Designed to be used by learner drivers and their driving coaches inside and outside the car, Drive Go helps new drivers learn the essential safe driving skills they need to be ready for the restricted licence test, from starting out through to advanced driving skills like reverse parallel parking and overtaking.

The app will be available to download for free from the Apple App Store and on Google Play from this Sunday, in time for the July school holidays.

NZ Transport Agency Senior Manager Strategic Interventions Lisa Rossiter says drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 are most at risk on the road and are over-represented in New Zealand’s road crash statistics, and Drive Go has been developed specifically for this age group.

“Road crashes are the second greatest cause of death for 16-24-year-olds, and the leading cause of serious injury for this age group. Every one of those deaths and serious injuries is a tragedy which is ultimately preventable.

Drive Go is designed to help young drivers learn the skills they need to pass their practical driving tests and to develop the right habits for a lifetime of safe driving. We want our young drivers to be safe drivers, and we also want to help take the stress out of getting prepared to sit the restricted test. This free app can help do both of those things,” Ms Rossiter says.

Research undertaken to help with the development of the app found that many learner drivers found it hard to know when they had developed the skills needed to successfully sit the restricted licence test, and that they weren’t getting enough variety in their driving experience, such as driving at night, in the rain or in heavy traffic. Driving coaches also recognised that they may be passing on bad habits because their knowledge of the road rules and good driving practice isn’t as good as it could be.

With those findings in mind, Drive Go was designed to help young drivers learn the essential safe driving skills they need, encourage constructive feedback between the young driver and their coach, and prompt young drivers to get experience in a wide range of conditions to make sure they are well-prepared for the restricted test.

Ms Rossiter says the Drive Go app was developed with input from professional driving instructors, and can be used on its own, or to complement the skills learned through lessons with a driving instructor.

Key features of the app are:

  • Customised driving plans, tailored to the learner driver’s current level of experience, and whether they live in a rural, urban, or suburban area.
  • Short animations and videos to show how to learn each skill.
  • Personalised recommendations for what skills to practise next.
  • Feedback tips to help coaches give effective feedback on driving.
  • Progress tracking to help see what’s been learned, what drivers are doing well, and what needs work.
  • GPS tracking to show how much driving has been done and in what conditions and road environments.
  • Feedback on speeding errors incurred during drives that would contribute to a ‘fail’ on the restricted test.
  • A feature to track achievements and driving milestones, to help cover all of the situations and conditions that a learner driver needs experience in, to be ready for the test and to become a safer solo driver.
  • Information about the restricted test and help with practising for it.

For further information go to www.drive.govt.nz/drive-go/(external link)

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