Lewis Hamilton attends Mercedes-Benz Driving Experience Centre
Offering a new approach to learning to drive in the UK, the new Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy at Silverstone was officially launched by the 2008 Formula 1™ World Champion. With the help of 25 school children, Lewis, in his role as Driving Academy Ambassador showed his support for the road safety initiative in front of senior representatives from local councils and emergency services.
Lewis Hamilton commented: 'It’s great that the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is giving young people the opportunity to start learning to [email protected]@ By having the chance to master basic driving skills in the safe and controlled environment of the road layout at the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, young people can gainconfidence and focus on controlling the car before they have to deal with traffic situations out on the public roads.'
At the new Silverstone-based Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, drivers are taught on a dedicated road layout complete with junctions and road signs. In a fleet of dual-controlled cars, a dedicated team of professional Approved Driving Instructors coach the young drivers on important car control skills such as pulling away at junctions, steering through corners and roundabouts, braking, reversing and psychological skills – all in a safe and controlled environment.
Marcus Breitschwerdt, president and chief executive officer, Mercedes-Benz UK, added: 'Our new Driving Experience Centre at Silverstone Circuit is the perfect place to start learning to drive in a safe and controlled environment. As a brand, safety has always been of utmost importance – vehicle safety and driver safety. We are proud to have introduced so many safety innovations that we see in cars today and we are looking forward to equipping the next generation of drivers with the necessary skills to be more responsible behind the wheel.'
The Driving Academy programme was developed by Mercedes-Benz’s road safety experts. It draws upon research from Sweden where the impact of an initiative to start learning to drive earlier has been proven to reduce accident rates during the first year of driving by 40% among drivers who started behind the wheel at 16 years old.
Having launched three years ago at Mercedes-Benz World, Surrey, Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy has grown its coverage across the South East and has welcomed 6000 people. The latest coaching techniques and hand-picked team has achieved a first time pass rate for driving tests is 78%, significantly higher than the 46% national average.
Young drivers must be a minimum of 1.5 metres tall to join the Driving Academy.
For further information about the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy visit www.mbdrivingacademy.com or call 0845 123 0055.