Volvo Car Australia has hosted a drive day at Eastern Creek Raceway to kick-start its major partnership with the Waratahs in 2012, using the day to highlight the importance of defensive driver training for the young team members at the Club.

With an average squad age of 23, the majority of Waratahs players fall into the age group of the nation’s most over-represented road users in terms of fatalities on our roads – males aged under 25.

Despite only accounting for 15 per cent of drivers, 17 to 25 year olds make up approximately 36 per cent of annual road fatalities – 80 per cent of whom are male*.

The Volvo Cars drive day was designed to expose the players to practical exercises to help demonstrate how speeding can impact on the behaviour of a vehicle – including its affect on braking and stopping distances – as well as to introduce them to general road craft and good driving habits.

Volvo Cars also took the opportunity to demonstrate some of its advanced safety technology including its low-braking City Safety technology, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and, of course, its Pedestrian Detection and Avoidance system.

Despite the serious message, the day took on an exciting finale as players were treated to ‘hot laps’ around Eastern Creek Raceway in Volvo’s exhilarating new S60 Polestar.

“The day was a great team-building exercise for the Club as some of our young players, staff and members were exposed to both the theoretical and practical sides of road safety and road craft,” said Waratahs winger and Volvo Cars ambassador, Drew Mitchell.

“Being able to experience Volvo’s safety technology – as well as the performance of some of its vehicles under the controlled conditions at Eastern Creek – really opened our eyes to the capabilities of its vehicles,” said Mitchell.

“After today, not only do I understand more about the technology in my Volvo but I feel like I’ve walked away as a better, more aware driver,” he added.

Volvo Cars’ major partnership with the Waratahs adds to an already impressive line-up of rugby partnerships including the Queensland Reds and Western Force.  In addition, Volvo Cars is proud to support the Australian Open (men’s golf), The Australian Ballet and Cure For Life Foundation.