Driving test 'unfit for purpose'

Driving test 'unfit for purpose'

The standard driving test fails to prepare young people well enough to drive independently, according to the Institute Of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

It is calling for a review of the driving test after new research shows nearly a third of motorists (30%) between the ages of 18 and 25 break the law within a few years of passing it.

The IAM research, in conjunction with Vision Critical, also discovered that more than two thirds of those surveyed (68%) are of the opinion that their driving skills need improvement, while a quarter have already been involved in a road accident.

Statistics from 2102 show that one in five people killed or seriously hurt on UK roads were in an accident that involved at least one young motorist. Around a quarter of the 542 fatalities that year were young drivers.

Furthermore, nearly four in 10 young drivers surveyed for the RAC Report on Motoring 2013 (36%) owned up to feeling nervous about driving at night and half (53%) said they would have liked supervised driving practice on the motorway as part of learning to drive.

The same percentage (53%) confessed they were nervous about driving in adverse weather conditions. And incredibly, only 37% of young drivers felt confident in their driving ability after passing the test.

In addition, three quarters (78%) of parents surveyed believe that motorway driving should be an integral part of driver training and 76% think training on 'driving at night' should also be undertaken before young people take their driving test.

RAC technical director David Bizley said: "What we have learnt from our research will come as a surprise to many parents. Young people agree they need more help to become confident, skilled drivers and they believe that learning more about safe driving should start at school.

"Parents support the introduction of a minimum number of supervised driving hours, and training on motorway driving and driving at night before taking the test. Supervised motorway driving as part of learning to drive has practical difficulties because many people live a long way from motorways, but there is a lot of support for finding a solution to this."

Copyright Press Association 2014