Proposed driving test changes don't go far enough

learning_to_drive_instructor_and_learner

Posted by Crispin Moger on 26 April 2017

The Department for Transport today announced four changes to the current driving test which will come into force on 4 December 2017. The changes, which are the most far-reaching changes to the driving test since the introduction of the hazard perception element will test learner drivers on their ability to follow directions from a sat nav systems, answer vehicle safety questions while on the move and complete 20 minutes of independent driving rather than 10.

While these changes have been welcomed by motoring groups, Crispin Moger, CEO of Marmalade Insurance, a specialist telematics insurer for young drivers, feels that these basic requirement changes don’t go far enough.

Commenting on the test changes, Moger said: “We welcome these basic requirement changes, but we feel that more could have been done to ensure those passing their test are fit to drive. The more independent driving that can be done in the test to demonstrate a driver's ability to think for themselves on the open road can only be a good thing but our research with young learner drivers suggest that newly qualified drivers are much more anxious about breaking down and managing difficult junctions and roundabouts than using in-car technology such as sat nav systems.”

In their survey of young driver anxiety, Marmalade found that the most common cause of anxiety were: 

1.Breaking down (16%)

2.Junctions/roundabouts(15%)

3.Busy traffic/cities (13%)

4.Parking/manoeuvres (11%)

5.Motorway driving (8%)

Moger continued, “Our research and experience talking to young drivers suggest that driving tests aren’t properly equipping new drivers to handle today’s busy roads. All too often, drivers are taught to pass the test and not to drive in realistic conditions. So much more could be done to teach young drivers to look further ahead and anticipate. They should be taught to handle corners properly on country roads and what to do if they skid. Sadly too many young drivers are killed or injured because they do not have the skills and experience to drive.”

The full results of Marmalade’s anxiety survey can be found here: https://www.wearemarmalade.co.uk/blog/young-drivers-find-most-scary-about-driving.