National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

21 November 2012

Young Farmers, supported by NFU Mutual, are launching a national campaign today to reduce the number of young driver deaths on rural roads, during Road Safety Week.

The Drive it Home campaign is being launched at the ProDrive Centre in Warwickshire where young racing drivers from Drive Doctors are taking young farmers out on a wet grip activity to give them a greater understanding of the risks of driving on challenging road surfaces such as mud, snow and ice and how to reduce these risks.

Statistics show that rural young drivers are 37% more likely to have an injury collision on a rural road than those who live in an urban area (Road Safety Analysis 2012). In the last two weeks, the Federation is aware of two of its members who were killed in a rural road traffic incident.

The majority of NFYFC’s 24,000 members live and work in rural communities putting them in a high risk category for incidents on rural roads. The lack of public transport links in many of these areas mean many NFYFC members have little option but to start driving young.

The campaign is being supported by insurer NFU Mutual to create hundreds of rural driving ambassadors who can speak to young people in their own language and inspire a generation of drivers about the inherent risks and responsible driving skills needed on rural roads.

The Association of British Insurers research shows that over a quarter (27%) of motor personal injury insurance claims over £500,000 resulted from a crash involving a driver aged between 17-24.

The Drive it Home campaign will:

  • Work with road safety charity Brake to deliver road safety training, based on Brake’s 2young2die campaign, to at least one representative from each county in the Federation in England and Wales and create Drive it Home Champions who will become ambassadors in their local communities and peer groups for safer driving
  • Work with advanced driving company Drive Doctors to offer members bespoke courses so they can practice driving in challenging conditions and learn in a fun and interactive environment with young racing drivers. As well as off-roading sessions and wet grip activities -– the sessions are tailored to appeal to young drivers who are encouraged to use their own cars on the circuit to simulate real-life scenarios
  • Ensure that all 644 Young Farmers Clubs deliver some form of road safety awareness training in 2013.
  • Work with Road Safety Analysis and carry out further research to better understand the common causes of crashes involving rural young drivers and investigate differing regional trends.

Milly Wastie, Chairman of NFYFC, said:

“As one of the largest rural youth organisations in the UK, we want our members to make a real difference and become ambassadors for safer driving within their rural communities and peer groups. When I was 17 years old, I lost a friend in a rural road incident. It was the first funeral I had ever attended and to be for someone my own age was heartbreaking. His death could have been avoided by some simple training on how to tackle different driving conditions on rural roads.

“Having travelled around the country visiting different Young Farmers’ Clubs there is always a memorial trophy or competition to remember somebody who lost their life in a car crash. Young Farmers are determined to change young driver attitudes and save lives on our rural roads.”

Jeremy Diston from NFU Mutual said:

"By working with the NFYFC on the Drive It Home Campaign we hope we can create hundreds of 'rural driving ambassadors.’ As the UK's leading rural insurer NFU Mutual understands the needs and concerns of those living in rural areas, and is determined to take a proactive approach in helping them to tackle the issues which affect them most.

“Nowhere is this more important than in the area of rural road safety where by working with communities to change driver behaviour and campaigning for wider safety improvements we can literally save lives and prevent serious injuries.”

Matt Baker, TV presenter and President of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, said:

“The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ campaign to raise awareness of the dangers lurking on our rural roads is a fantastic initiative. I grew up living and working in a remote community, so I know how vital it is for young people to be able to drive to get to work and meet with friends. I also know how those roads can be treacherous.

“The NFYFC’s work with Brake to deliver educational resources to clubs shows the commitment from Young Farmers to do everything they can to save lives on rural roads.”

Richard Andrew, Senior Community Engagement Officer at Brake, the road safety charity, said:

“Brake is proud to be supporting NFYC’s rural road safety campaign, which recognises the pressing need to reduce death and serious injuries on rural roads and among young drivers. Road crashes are the biggest cause of death among young people, so raising awareness of road safety is vital, and young people themselves can be extremely effective in delivering life-saving messages within their peer groups.

“Brake is glad to be able to provide tools and resources that will enable young rural road safety ambassadors to spread these messages with groups across the country, to help reduce devastating casualties and create safer communities.”

At the launch, there will be a minute’s silence at 10.45am to remember the young people connected with our Young Farmers’ Clubs who have recently lost their lives in rural road incidents and in memory of all the members who have died in road incidents in the Federation’s 80 year history.


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