Millions of British adults would FAIL their driving test if they had to take it again, according to new research.
A study of 2,025 motorists who drive at least once a week shows six in 10 are convinced they couldn’t pass their practical test if they had to re-take now.
Males were more confident with their abilities to pass their driving test with just 10% thinking they wouldn’t compared to 11% of females.
Unsurprisingly younger people were more confident with their abilities with 96% thinking I’d pass their test if re-taken compared to 88% of 25-34 year olds, 85% of 35-44 year olds, 91% of 45-54 year olds and 90% of people 55 and over.
Reasons why people don’t think they’d pass their driving test if they were to re-take it
52% are convinced their failure would be down to the bad driving habits they have developed while on the road. Males thought this was more of an issue with 59% of men citing it as why they wouldn’t pass compared to just 44% of females.
Just under half of those polled believe modern tests would be totally different to the ones they passed, while a third are sure it was easier to pass a test years ago. Women cited this as more of a reason why they wouldn’t pass with 36% stating it compared to 29% of males.
Three in 10 people claim to feel more pressure while driving now than when they first started. Women certainly feel the pressure on the road’s more with 33% feeling this was an issue as to why they wouldn’t re-pass their test compared to just 21% of male’s feeling the pressure.
David Carter, spokesman for Accident Advice Helpline, which conducted the research, said “It is worrying that more people don’t feel confident in their own skills on the road and feel that they’ve developed bad habits which would cause them to not pass their driving test.
“Too many people are injured on the roads due to poor judgement and a lack of road skills so people should keep the good habits they learnt while taking their lessons.”
When people starting their driving lessons
The average age that people started taking driving lessons was around 20 and a half, with males starting a little earlier at 20 and females a bit later at 21.
The average age to start driving lessons seems to be getting younger though with most people 17-24 starting to learn between the ages of 17 and 18 compared to around 20-21 with anyone older.
How long does it take people to pass their driving test?
Researchers found it takes the average person nine and a half months of lessons before they pass their test at the age of 21. There was a massive difference between males and females of how long it took to pass their driving test with males taking 7.8 months compared to female’s taking 11.7 months.
The average time it took to pass a test varied greatly depending on where you live with Londoners blasting through in an average 6.64 months compared to people in Sheffield taking just over a year, and people in Brighton averaging 13 months’ of lesson time.
Reasons for people taking longer than a year to pass their driving test
Only two in 10 people took longer than 11 months to pass their driving test, with a large gap between lessons and nerves being cited as the most popular reasons for taking longer to pass.
Women seem to get a lot more nervous during driving tests than men with 47% saying that was why it took them so long to pass compared to 21% of men. Men were more likely to think their instructor wasn’t good enough (13% compared to 7% of women) or that they didn’t get on with their instructor (13% compared to 6% of women).
How much do people remember of their theory and practical tests
Of those who took a theory test originally – since its introduction in 1996 – only two in 10 can remember everything they were asked, while 46% don’t remember anything at all. Unsurprisingly it depends on when you took your test as to how much you remembered. Only 1% of people aged 17-24 claimed to not remember anything from their theory test compared to a whopping 52% of people 55 and above who claim not to remember a thing.
Only a third of drivers can still remember everything they had to do in their practical test but there was much less of a gap in knowledge of the practical test compared to the theory test. Every under 24 claimed they at least remembered something from their practical test, but 8% of people over 55 claimed to not remember a thing.
Despite all of the above data people generally felt less confident about their practical test with 37% citing that, compared to 24% of people who said they were least confident in their theory test.
How much did people study for their driving theory test?
The study found two thirds of drivers don’t think they’d pass a theory test today unless they revised hard for it. Of those who felt that they strongly agreed that they’d need to study hard 32% were between the ages of 17 and 24 compared to just 18% of people over the age of 55. Perhaps the older generation are more confident and don’t give into nerves as much, or perhaps the test was easier back then.
Bad driving habits developed since passing their test
When it comes to the bad habits developed since driving – 25% of people admitted to developing several and 44% admitted to developing at least once
68% admit they rarely drive with both hands on the wheel at all time which was the most common bad habit to develop with 70% of males admitting it and 66% of females admitting to it.
Just under half of those polled don’t put on the handbrake every time the car comes to a stop and 25% don’t look in every mirror thoroughly when pulling away. Younger people were far less likely to look at their mirrors every time they pulled off with 43% of those 17-24 admitting to it, 41% of those 25-34, 29% of those 35-44, 20% of those 45-54 and just 16% of people over the age of 55.
15% of motorists even admit they don’t always look at the road signs. Younger people were more likely to not look at signs with 20% admitting to it compared to 11% of those over 45. This may be due to the larger reliance on GPS and other mobile devices with the younger generation.
Accidents caused due to bad habits
As a direct consequence of these bad habits, one in 10 drivers admit to having become involved in an accident while on the roads with 4% of people citing they’d been involved in more than one accident.
Younger people were more likely to let bad habits cause them to have an accident with 26% of those under 24 admitting to having an accident, 21% of those 25-34, 11% of those 35-44, 5% of those 45-54 and just 3% of people over 55 letting a bad habit cause them to have an accident.
Date Published: April 28, 2017