The IAM has used the 80th anniversary of the driving test to issue a call for a “comprehensive overhaul to keep it relevant” and address “the problems faced by young people on the road”.
The IAM says the test does not assess a driver’s ability with regard to country roads, poor weather or driving at night which it describes as “the main risk factors in the first six months of solo driving”.
Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “The driving test needs to become a much more integrated part of a graduated licensing system that picks up on best practice from around the world.
“For instance, Austria has a ‘second phase’ licensing system, where young drivers come back in the first 12 months after the test for further interventions to examine attitude changes and skills.”
The IAM says young male driver casualties “have dropped by a third in in Austria as a result of the initiative”.
The IAM advocates a series of changes to driver training including: road safety education to be part of the National Curriculum; a minimum learning period prior to taking the practical test; the inclusion of high speed roads in the test; support for limits on peer passenger numbers after the test is passed; and a lower drink-drive limit for new drivers.
Neil Greig said: “The driving test does test a driver’s ability to a very high level, but it has fallen behind what is urgently needed in 2015. This must be addressed as a matter of urgency by the next Government.”