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Young drivers want driving test overhaul

Thursday 14th April 2016

A new study from Co-op Insurance suggests that more than a third (36%) of the UK’s young drivers don’t believe that the driving test is fit for purpose as it ‘doesn’t fully prepare them for driving after passing their driving test’.

35% of the 1,000 young drivers aged 17-25 years who were interviewed felt ‘partly prepared’ to take to the roads on their own after passing their test – and 1% didn’t feel at all prepared.

75% of those interviewed said motorway driving should be added to the driving test and more than half (57%) want to see night time driving included. 50% supported a mandatory number of lessons before being able to take a test, and 39% believe that sat nav training should be included in the test.

The overwhelming majority (98%) of those questioned considered themselves to be safe drivers, with 42% of these believing their driving to be ‘very safe’.

However, in contrast, when asked to rate their peers’ driving 70% agreed with the generalisation that young people are more dangerous than other age groups.

James Hillon, Co-op Insurance, said: “Newly qualified drivers today are facing busier road conditions than any other generation.

“It’s extremely important for road safety that anyone who passes their driving test, regardless of age, feels comfortable and equipped to drive on the roads unsupervised.

“Insurers have a key role to play in keeping the UK’s roads safe with telematics technology playing an important part in this.

“At the Co-op we believe that educating people about their own driving styles and where improvements can be made is an invaluable tool in combating bad driving behaviours.”

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I agree that the current driving test is far far away from being fit for purpose. However I fear that no government will ever sanction the root and branch overhaul it needs as they all fear it as a vote loser.
Andrew McGrorey Bedford

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)
+6

interesting comments from the young drivers. We are about to enter a new phase in driver licence acquisition, with the introduction of the revised driving test, subject to government approval and public consultation this year. We are expecting to see the use of taking instructions from a sat nav during the test for approx. 20 mins, being able to park momentarily on the opposite side of the road as if to pick up a friend, to be able to both park in reverse into a parking bay but to be able to reverse out, using possibly real life areas such as supermarkets and doctors surgery parking points, extending the test in mileage but not time, getting reactions from the driver while they are driving, questioning how to access ancillary parts of the vehicle and demonstrating while on the move, developing the student to be more interactive with their suroundings. A number of items will be dropped from the test that are no longer as relevant to today's driving. I think we are in interesting times for new drivers, it will be interesting to interview in 3 years time the new test qualified drivers for their reaction to compare to those interviewed in this article.
Mike Hull

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)
+6

Interesting that 35% felt partly prepared to take to the roads, while 1% didn't feel at all prepared, yet 98% considered themselves to be safe drivers.

I'm with Iain on this, the basic test needs to be far more rigorous if the young drivers fail to take the extra training which may help them become better drivers.
David, Suffolk

Agree (11) | Disagree (0)
+11

I wonder at the socio-economic spread of those questioned for this survey. Whilst the results are encouraging previous research has shown that a majority of young drivers see the test as a barrier to independence rather than an aquistion of life skills. The overwhelming failure of Pass Plus and similar schemes, both in terms of numbers and risk groups, would support that research. It suggestst that any mandatory element to the process be more rigorous as most young drivers won't do anything else.
Iain Temperton

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)
+6

Novice drivers should have the concept instilled into them that "the driving test" is but the first threshold in learning to drive. Further follow up training such as Pass Plus or (Pass Plus Cymru in Wales) is designed to educate precisely this group of newly qualified drivers on motorway driving and other driving scenarios that they may not have encountered in the pre-test driving lessons. The courses are there for the taking.
Pat, Wales

Agree (9) | Disagree (0)
+9