Posted 23/09/15
Hi, my name is Gill Starkie...

For many years I was the Road safety Officer for West Sussex County Council which is part of the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership. I worked as the Partnership Liaison Officer, working alongside my colleagues in the Police, Fire and Rescue and the Ambulance Service also supporting the valued work of the Community safety teams and various individuals who promote road safety in areas across Sussex and beyond.

For Full story click here.

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Why Drive iQ?
Posted 05/02/15
Why Drive iQ?

Whenever I visit a school on behalf of Drive iQ, I always ask the students what it is that they feel when they think about passing their test and getting their driving licence. Invariably, and predictably, I always hear the same words shouted back at me, “freedom” and “independence!’.

I think driving is the most liberating experience you can feel as a young adult and I know that almost all of us can remember the first time we were able to drive independently, with our friends, wherever we wanted. It is almost a right of passage, a human right if you will! Whatever you want to call it, driving is something we all love to do.

But lately, because thousands of young drivers are sustaining serious life-changing injuries on the road, the government and industry experts are suggesting that the best way to protect young drivers is to place a plethora of restrictions on them.

In a previous blog (link) I wrote my response to these reactions, and outlined a suggested alterative answer, but in this blog I want to expand a little on why Drive iQ is such an appealing solution to scores of novice drivers, and what makes us the most widely used driving educational initiative EVER in the UK.

Drive iQ is educational software that helps educate pre-novice and novice drivers about the dangers they face as they go through the process of attaining their licence.

We feel quiet strongly that there are gapping holes in the traditional learning process, and our mission is to fill them by providing brain-training software that is physiologically proven to help make young drivers think like older drivers.

Statistically, over 90% of crashes are contributed to by human factors and happen because of poor attitude and behaviour, not vehicle handling skills. Drive iQ tackles that problem by giving students the lessons they need to understand that you drive with your mind and your mood as well as your hands and feet. 'over 90% of crashes are contributed to by human factors

Everything you learn with Drive iQ is learnt from the safety of a computer screen, and you are affected subliminally as you complete the modules in your own time. No lecturing or patronising instruction. Students learn in a medium that is both familiar and fun to them, in a manner that is self-coached and often peer led.

So the reason why students love Drive iQ, the reason it is award-winning and the reason we are in hundreds of schools across the country is because we give students the tools they need to protect themselves though a method that they enjoy. Furthermore we provide the only immediate solution to the problems we know they face when they get their licence. Oh and last but by no means least, we are also proud to say that Drive iQ is 100%, totally and utterly FREE!

 

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“I crashed my car – and was paralysed
Posted 24/07/14
“I crashed my car – and was paralysed

In her own words, Drive iQ Ambassador and Ultimate Woman of the Year Award winner Sophie Morgan, 28, describes the night she crashed her car and nearly lost her life – and how she is helping other women to drive safely by providing them with the FREE award-winning software Drive iQ.

“I still remember walking out of that party and thinking the world was mine; that finally I could become the person I hoped to be. I had no idea driving could take that away from me. It may be too late for me, and for thousands of others, but it doesn’t have to be too late for anyone else."

For the full story click here.

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Sophie Morgan educates teenagers about road safety
Posted 18/02/14
Sophie Morgan educates teenagers about road safety

Driving is the single biggest killer of young people in this country but getting through to teenagers about the dangers can sometimes be easier said than done.

One campaigner is now using her own experience to try to save lives. Sophie Morgan is currently visiting schools and colleges throughout the country, urging students to spend some time using the FREE brain-training software Drive iQ to make them safer drivers.

Victoria Lampard went along to one of Sophie's schools tour sessions at the Colchester Institute in Essex. For full ITV report, click here.

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Drive iQ ambassador nominated for Cosmo Woman of the Year
Posted 29/11/13
Drive iQ ambassador nominated for Cosmo Woman of the Year

Sophie Morgan was just 18 years old when she crashed her car. The accident left her paralysed from the chest down but she shows no signs of bitterness or regret.

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Posted 20/11/13
Lane hogging and tailgating on-the-spot fines in force

Drivers who put other road users at risk face on-the-spot penalties under new measures to be introduced today (16 August). The changes in the law give the police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless driving, giving them greater flexibility in dealing with less serious careless driving offences - such as tailgating or middle lane hogging. 

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Abi Phillips
Posted 12/11/13
Abi Phillips

Liphook Fixer Abi Phillips, 18, whose sister died in a car accident during her teens, is campaigning to improve young driver training and road safety.

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Posted 13/07/15
Free online programme to help young drivers be safe on the roads

A Slinfold mother is campaigning for more young drivers to use a free online programme which could help save their lives.

For full article please click here.

www.driveiq.co.uk

 

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Posted 28/01/15
Tougher driving test delayed by election

ROAD safety campaigners last night accused the Government of putting off the
introduction of a far tougher driving test because of the looming General Election.

Drive iQ Ambassador Sophie Morgan talks about her own crash and suggests and alternative, practical solution to the growing problem of more and more young people being killed or seriously injured on our roads.

Sophie says "It's too late for me... but it doesn't have to be too late for anyone else"

For the story, click here.

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Posted 21/05/14
Controversial changes to driving test are put on hold

Newsbeat has found radical plans to change the driving test have been put on hold by the government.

The Department for Transport says it doesn't want to restrict the lives of young people but road safety campaigners have accused them of being scared.

Sophie Morgan, 29, was paralysed from the waist down after the car she was driving was involved in an accident after the end of her A-levels in 2003.

She says she is disappointed the government is going back on plans to make learner drivers do a minimum number of hours behind the wheel.

"I don't know how many more young people have to die or sustain serious life-changing injuries like mine before the government does something," she says.

For full story and video click here.

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The Drive iQ team visit Canterbury College.
Posted 13/12/13
The Drive iQ team visit Canterbury College.

On Thursday 12th December, Sophie and the Drive iQ team went to Kent for the next event of the Schools Tour. The team headed to Canterbury college to talk to students as part of their Enrichment Week. Media student Louis Stowe, 18, who attended the event said “I am learning to drive and this really brought home how dangerous the road can be. The idea of a virtual training simulation where I can learn about the dangers of the road from the safety of my house is a great idea”. For full story click here

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Launch of Schools Tour
Posted 20/11/13
Launch of Schools Tour

On Monday 18 November, Sophie Morgan was at Richmond upon Thames College to launch her Licence to Kill Schools Tour with Drive iQ.

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Drive iQ Ambassador works with Fixers
Posted 20/11/13
Drive iQ Ambassador works with Fixers

Road accidents are the number one killer of young people in the UK. It’s a fact that Drive iQ ambassador Abi Phillips knows all too well, as her sister was killed after accepting a ride from an unlicensed teenage driver weeks before her 18th birthday. 

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Road casualties increase
Posted 09/02/15
Road casualties increase

Road safety charity Brake has expressed dismay at an increase in road casualties announced today, and is calling on all political parties to commit to three vital road safety policies, especially to protect pedestrians, cyclists, children and young people. The figures show that deaths and serious injuries on UK roads increased by 4% in the year ending September 2014, with deaths up by 1%.

In total, 1,730 people were killed and 22,630 seriously injured on UK roads in the year ending September 2014, up from 1,711 deaths and 21,728 serious injuries in the previous year. Casualties of all severities are also up by 5%, from 184,087 to 192,910.

For full article, please click here.

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Posted 25/11/14
Young drivers need more help.

When Carol Morgan and her husband John received a phone call at 3am saying their daughter Sophie had been in a car crash, one of the first things Carol asked after being told she was alive was whether she could walk. When the answer was yes, Carol and John felt relieved the accident wasn’t more serious. But a second call not long after turned their world upside down when it was revealed her injuries were far worse than first thought.

“It came from a doctor who said that Sophie had sustained serious injuries,” says Carol.

“She had a spine injury which had left her paralysed from the chest down. I collapsed and kept saying this couldn’t be happening. From that point on I was plunged into a nightmare.”

 

For the full article click here.

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Drive iQ support the CFOA UK Road Safety Week 2014
Posted 12/05/14
Drive iQ support the CFOA UK Road Safety Week 2014

Drive iQ is delighted to have been asked to provide free resources to support the Chief Fire Officers Association’s (CFOA) UK Road Safety Week 9-15th June 2014.

This national week of activity by Fire and Rescue Services throughout the UK will promote targeted road safety messages to their local communities. The overarching message is “Be Safe Out There.”

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Sophie Morgan wins award at Cosmo Ultimate Women Awards
Posted 06/12/13
Sophie Morgan wins award at Cosmo Ultimate Women Awards

Last week we announced that Drive iQ ambassador Sophie Morgan was shortlisted by Cosmopolitan for the magazine’s Ultimate Women of the Year Awards. Well, we can now proudly announce that Sophie has WON Ultimate Campaigner! 

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Posted 20/11/13
DIA Annual Conference

On Monday 20th May, Drive iQ will be speaking at the annual DIA Spring Conference – a day devoted to looking at the challenges of delivering safe young drivers to our roads and developing better solutions to the problems caused by, and facing, newly qualified young motorists. 

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Licence to Kill Schools Tour with Drive iQ
Posted 20/11/13
Licence to Kill Schools Tour with Drive iQ

Traffic collisions are the single biggest killer of young people in the UK, a fact which we can no longer ignore. To help combat this, Drive iQ ambassador Sophie Morgan is embarking on a Licence to Kill Schools Tour with Drive iQ, (supported by BBC Learning). 

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A Structured Learning Programme for Young Drivers
Posted 05/02/15
A Structured Learning Programme for Young Drivers

Every year scores of young drivers die behind the wheel. In fact, one in five young people crash within the first six months of holding their licence. Driving is the biggest single killer of young people and safety campaigners, transport ministers and parents are now calling for changes to help protect young drivers. But what is the best solution?

In countries like Australia and New Zealand a Graduated Driving Licence (GDL) has been implemented with varied success. Young or novice drivers have various restrictions placed upon them, such as curfews, limited passenger numbers, restricted speed limits and zero blood alcohol level.

But when I think of my own crash, I believe that it was not primarily poor technical skill or vehicle handling that caused me to lose control of my speeding car. It was my attitude and behaviour that almost killed my friends and me and left me unable to walk.

I don’t believe any amount of restrictions could have saved me from the most dangerous thing in that car – myself.

In common with all young adults, the part of my brain that is responsible for danger analysis and risk assessment wasn’t fully developed, so the feeling of immortality and invincibility is inevitable – but not something that should be dismissed as inexorable.

This important part of the brain can be trained so that young drivers can think like older drivers – and vastly improve their ability to judge the risks they face when they get their licence.

Drive iQ, an award-winning, free, online platform, educates young people on the impact of their attitude and behaviour and provides coping strategies designed to make someone a better driver and road user.

We visit hundreds of schools every year and talk to pupils about this incredible educational tool. I know that all young people really want is the joy and freedom of driving, but with the skills and awareness required to be safe.

Taking this into consideration, I would like to suggest an alternative, practical solution to this growing problem – something I like to call Structured Learning. This includes some elements of the GDL practice, but gives a young driver more freedom.

Under a Structured Learning programme, novice drivers must complete a minimum learning period of nine months, so as to gain the widest seasonal experience and knock up a significant number of hours of learning before they are invited to take their test.

Within the learning process, the driver must also look at dangerous situations under supervision, to hardwire their brains with the best coping strategies. Furthermore, I would like to encourage self-coaching through school-based discussions with their peers.

And, before they can take their test, young drivers should demonstrate an understanding of all the key issues of driving safely and successfully complete a syllabus which records when they have experienced selected elements of dangerous driving.

I would also suggest new drivers’ cars are fitted with a black box so they can demonstrate what they have learned and those with the best records of real driving should be rewarded with cheaper insurance.

Young drivers can benefit from the freedom and independence of driving armed with the education they need to be safe.

No longer would you pass your test and then learn to drive.

My education came the hard way. It is too late for me, but it doesn’t have to be too late for anyone else. Let’s enable young drivers, not disable them.

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Posted 24/10/14
Drive iQ has a record number of schools sign up!

The Drive iQ Team are proud to announce that 166 new schools and colleges have signed up to use our software this term – a record number!

 

The state of the art, award winning online software is available to all students and is completely FREE. With over 30 core topics, the software helps you prepare better for your lessons, build on what you’re being taught by your driving instructor, develop skills to pass your theory, hazard perception and practical tests and most importantly become a better and safer driver after you have passed.

 

To watch a short film made by our ambassador Sophie Morgan, talking about Drive iQ, please click here and to follow us on twitter, click here.

 

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Sophie Morgan and Drive iQ visit City College Coventry
Posted 18/02/14
Sophie Morgan and Drive iQ visit City College Coventry

A woman who was involved in a life-changing car accident ten years ago has shared her story with students from City College Coventry.

Back in 2003, an 18-year-old Sophie Morgan had just collected her A-level results. She was driving her friends to a party in Scotland to celebrate when she crashed her car, leaving her paralysed from the chest down.

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Licence to Kill wins Best Current Affairs Programme
Posted 05/12/13
Licence to Kill wins Best Current Affairs Programme

Licence To Kill, a heart-breaking, one-hour, current affairs documentary presented by Drive iQ Ambassador Sophie Morgan, won the Best Current Affairs Programme category. Sophie, whose own car crash left her unable to walk, met people who, like her, have seen their lives changed forever by an accident - whether they were injured, or they were driving the car. She heard emotional stories of regret and recovery, and found out what it means to be responsible for a death on the roads. 

For more on this, click here.

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South East Coast Ambulance Service teams up with Drive iQ
Posted 20/11/13
South East Coast Ambulance Service teams up with Drive iQ

Following a number of sadly fatal and serious road traffic collisions across Sussex, Surrey and Kent, South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) has teamed up with Drive iQ to remind drivers to take extra care and to urge young people to sign up to the software. 

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Safe Drive Stay Alive returns.
Posted 20/11/13
Safe Drive Stay Alive returns.

Safe Drive Stay Alive is returning to Dorking Halls this November. A record 14,300 places for 16-19 year olds have been booked Surrey schools, colleges and youth groups to see one of the 18 live performances. 

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