IAM asks: is the driving test fit for purpose?
A new survey carried out on behalf of the IAM suggests that, despite learning to pass the test, 68% of younger drivers feel that they need to improve their driving skills.
In the survey of 1,000 young drivers aged 18-25 years, 30% of respondents admitted to “breaking the law” during their first few years on the road.
The IAM says the poll’s findings are “backed by official figures” which show that a fifth of people killed or seriously injured in a reported road accident in Great Britain during 2012 were involved in a collision where at least one of the cars was driven by a young driver. In addition, 133 of the 542 drivers who died in 2012 were young drivers themselves.
Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “This survey shows that younger drivers don’t feel adequately prepared for independent driving. The current learning system is failing the next generation of motorists and there needs to be serious review.
“Early experience of a wide range of traffic conditions is vital but so is dealing with negative attitudes. This can be done most effectively through peer group discussions rather than just relying on stricter controls and curfews.”
The measures the IAM is putting forward to improve young driver safety include: road safety as part of the school curriculum; theory and hazard perception tests be delivered online and in educational establishments; a 12-month minimum learning period with a logbook to build experience; and post-test assessment and training in the high risk early months of solo driving.