As many as one in three parents admit to letting their child drive a car before they are the legal age of 17, according to new research.
The survey for discount website VoucherCodesPro.co.uk also indicates that attitudes have seemingly become more relaxed as almost half (47%) the legal driving age should be lowered to 16.
A total of 2,157 Britons aged 35 and over, all of whom were parents with children aged five or over, were asked about their parenting in relation to driving.
Initially all respondents were asked ‘Have you ever knowingly let your child drive before the legal age limit of 17?’ More than a third of the parents polled (35%) revealed to researchers that they had allowed their child to drive illegally before the age of 17.
Following on from this, these parents were asked to provide which age they let their child drive for the first time. The majority (58%) stated 16 and the youngest answer provided by 3% was nine.
These respondents were then asked ‘Why did you let your child drive underage?’ the majority of respondents (71%) stated they wanted to give them the experience before they started driving lessons, 23% stated it was just for fun and the remaining 6% stated it was to show them that it was harder than they thought.
These participants were asked if they let their child drive on the road or if it was on private land, 59% stated they let their child drive on a public road. They were then asked if they were in the car when they let their child drive, 23% stated they weren’t.
“I have to say that I am absolutely shocked and quite frankly scared at the results of the recent research,” said George Charles of VoucherCodesPro.co.uk.
“I know that some may let their children drive around in private land, but there is no excuse or justification to let your children drive underage on the actual roads… especially if you aren’t even in the car!”