Just as Jaguar has changed the game in the automotive market, they’re now poised to do the same in educating young drivers — some of whom are years from getting their license. If you’re of a certain age and your school had a driver’s ed program, you probably remember getting behind the wheel of a clunky simulator that felt more like a phone booth with a gas pedal than an actual car. The view out of your “windshield” consisted of a jumpy film shot thirty years before, showing a handful of typical driving scenarios, such as sudden stops, or a child chasing a ball into traffic. Once you’d gotten your permit and finally gotten behind the wheel of an actual car, you realized quickly that your typical driver’s ed simulator had about as much to do with driving under real-world conditions as your average video game.
Surprisingly, putting an 11-year-old behind the wheel of a Jaguar XE isn’t nearly as counterintuitive as it sounds. Statistically speaking, 20% of new drivers are involved in car accidents within the first six months of being licensed. Research shows that earlier engagement and education helps to cultivate the skills — and responsibility — that make younger drivers more mindful drivers, reducing accidents, injuries and fatalities. To do its part in reducing fatalities, Jaguar has implemented the program at six different locations in the UK. For a small fee, drivers as young as 11 years old learn behind the wheel of a Jaguar XE in tandem with an experienced instructor.
There’s no word yet as to whether Jaguar will expand this program to the United States. However, the staff at Jaguar of Peabody can’t help but applaud anything that leads to learning the rules of the road as early as possible. Teaching young drivers mindfulness and responsibility behind the wheel makes them — and those with whom they share the road — safer, and that’s always a good thing. Whether you’re driving a 2015 Jaguar XF, a Jaguar F-Type, or an ancient jalopy, take some time to teach your kids about safety and responsible driving. It’s never too early. They’ll be glad you took the time, and as an added bonus, you’ll be able to breathe a little easier when the time comes for them to drive solo.