The Root

The official blog of Carrot Insurance

4 February 2016

Skid pans and hairpin bends: Carrot Insurance at Silverstone

Anyone who regularly checks out The Root will know that we’re big on safety, frequently providing our young driver policyholders with tips and advice on how to stay safe out there on the roads. We’re really pleased to have moved our safety focus up a gear by holding an event at none other than the home of the British Grand Prix, Silverstone.

Carrot’s debut safe driving event on January 23rd 2016 at Silverstone was fired into life with a randomly selected group of New Driver customers, their parents, Silverstone and Carrot staff getting to know each other over breakfast in the esteemed British Racing Drivers’ Clubhouse (BRDC). A road safety quiz then followed, gaining an excellent snapshot of perceptions, knowledge, experience and attitudes towards driver safety.

Carrot Insurance driver safety event at Silverstone, January 2016 - classroom training2


Not having accrued very much experience behind the wheel, it’s unsurprising that young drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents than people who have been driving for years. Figures from the RAC Foundation state that one in five newly qualified drivers will have an accident within six months of passing their driving test. Bad weather can get the better of all drivers but especially new ones, and the illegal use of mobile phones whilst driving  is sadly still an issue across all age ranges, so Carrot’s day at Silverstone then moved on to classroom sessions discussing such topics.

Carrot Insurance driver safety event at Silverstone, January 2016 - classroom training1


Hands-on experience always goes down a treat and our guests were excited to move from the classroom to the track for the second part of our driving experience safety day. The superb instructors at the world-famous Silverstone circuit gave our young drivers a taste of how to steer around a hairpin bend successfully by taking advantage of a car’s ABS (automatic braking system), before teaching them how to anticipate changing road conditions, adjusting their speed accordingly.

Carrot Insurance driver safety event at Silverstone, January 2016 - Renault Clio


Next, the policyholders invited by Carrot to attend the event moved on to Silverstone’s skid pan where they took charge of Renault Meganes attached to skid steer simulators. This gave our young drivers an excellent insight into how to correct a car once it had skidded off course due to ice or a slippery surface, bringing to life just how much weather conditions affect how a car behaves. Using the same simulator, drivers then learned how to identify and correct understeer and oversteer, helping keep them safer especially on rural roads, which Government statistics from 2013 show is where 67% of accidents involving young drivers occur.

Carrot Insurance driver safety event at Silverstone, January 2016 - Renault Megane skid pan


Throughout our debut safety day at Silverstone, Carrot’s team chatted with customers and parents and it’s clear that mums and dads worry about their sons and daughters out there on the open road, so they were really pleased that our event will encourage their children to remember what they learned and apply it in their day-to-day driving. Many of our customers commented afterwards that they “didn’t know the car would do that”, having discovered how a car reacts in different situations.

Carrot Insurance would like to extend heartfelt thanks to Silverstone and our partners at Zurich Insurance, who facilitated the event. We’re already looking forward to our second young driver safety event there in the near future – so stay tuned for more information!

Did you attend our debut event at Silverstone or have you been to a similar driving experience day? Perhaps you have encountered understeer or oversteer, or successfully corrected a skid? We would love to hear from you on Twitter or Facebook – you might even get an invitation to the next event in March!

Oliver Hammond

Written by Oliver Hammond

Oliver is an established freelance motoring writer, published journalist and automotive copywriter based in Manchester. He regularly reviews cars and covers events and launches as editor of and his articles appear in various magazines each month. No relation to Richard from Top Gear, he’s got a weakness for luxo-barges, proper 4x4s and oddball cars.