The best thing about the digital age is that you can learn to do almost anything online. Last week, I watched a video on how to repair a car dent with hot water and a plunger, how to fix a crack in the windshield and how to replace your car’s brake pads.
There’s no shortage on things you can learn via a quick Google and a few hours on YouTube. But does the internet have a place when it comes to learning to drive?
According to a report from the NSW Bureau of Transport Statistics (BTS), fewer teens are learning to drive with a 10 percent drop in the number of people in their 20s learning to drive compared to the 1990s.
Again, car licence rates in Victoria for people under 25 have fallen from 77 percent to 66 percent since 2000.
According to the BTS, the amount of effort and cost in getting your licence is one of the major deterrents for young people.
So then, is the internet the answer?
Various automobile clubs around Australia have long provided support for learners, offering online practice tests for those wanting to obtain L Plates and P Plates. South Australia’s Royal Automobile Association (RAA), for example, offer learners a give way and multiple choice practice test. Other states also offer similar services.
According to Simon Strode, the managing director of EZLicence, an online driver training website, “the average learner driver only received three face-to-face lessons with a professional instructor, leaving parents and other family and friends to provide the bulk of the driving education.”
It was for this reason the website was started as a support for parents and a resource for students.
But the intention of these online courses isn’t to avoid practical lessons. It offers a more theoretical knowledge behind driving a car.
“We decided to create this tool to provide all the information a parent needs to teach their child, and that an L-plate driver needs to be a safe and informed driver,” said Strode.
“Especially since many [parents] will have forgotten some of the road rules or developed poor habits they might unwittingly pass on to their child.”
There’s no question that videos, like those offered by EZLicence certainly serve an important purpose in teaching new drivers important practical skills, even if they are a little boring.
The site offers 200 video tutorials, averaging 2 minutes in length, so while it may not save learners and parents much time in the long run, it’s a step toward helping create safer drivers.