Mercedes-Benz launch driving academy

* Driving school for kids as young as 12 * Designed to make safer motorists * Young drivers at most risk of injury...

Mercedes-Benz launch driving academy

Mercedes-Benz is to open its first driving academy in the UK this summer.

The driving school is intended to prepare young people to be better and safer drivers when they qualify to drive on to public roads, with children from as young 12 years old able to join.

The academy has three training courses: pre-road (age 12 - 16yrs), provisional licence (age 17+) and post-test (for those who have already passed their test).

The training programmes are based at Mercedes-Benz World in Surrey, and uses its handling circuits to allow students to familiarise themselves with vehicle control and to master traffic situations in a controlled environment.

The positive impacts of learning to drive at a younger age have been demonstrated in Sweden where a similar scheme cut accident rates by 40% in the first year of driving for youngsters who took the course at 16 years old.

In the UK nearly one in three car drivers who die or are seriously injured in car accidents are under the age of 25.

Peter O'Halloran, Managing Director Mercedes-Benz World said: 'The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy provides young people with the skills and thought-based experiences that go beyond the requirements of just passing the driving test.

It also prepares them for the actual demands of driving on the public roads, making them better and safer drivers when they have their licence.'