What Car? has revealed that 45% of drivers in the UK would be likely to fail the practical part of the current driving test if they retook it today.
In a recent poll on whatcar.com, 75% of drivers said they thought driving standards are getting worse. However, only a third admitted that their driving had deteriorated. Driver error is at least partly to blame for four out of five road accidents. In 2008 28,572 people were involved in serious road accidents that resulted in the death or serious injury.
What Car? put 20 readers of varying age and experience through a practical driving test, with just over half qualifying for a pass mark.
A total of 15 minor faults are allowed during the driving test, but one serious fault is an immediate fail. Of the 20 readers who took part, eight committed a serious fault resulting in immediate fail, one clocked up more than 15 faults and two of them committed five serious errors. In total the 20 readers racked up a massive 277 minor faults, an average of just under 14 each.
Steve Fowler, What Car? editor-in -chief said: ‘It is clear that, for some people at least driving deteriorates over time. It is also clear that many drivers are not as skilled behind the wheel as they would like to think they are’.
Lack of observation was the number 1 fault with the test candidates, followed jointly by speeding and moving off unsafely. 10% of faults were given each for inadequate control of the car, pedestrian crossings and signalling incorrectly, 5% for undue hesitation and response to traffic lights.
Paul Atkinson, managing director of What Car? Driving School which carried out the assessments, commented: “It’s evident that driving skills learned are easily forgotten or poorly applied once the practical test is passed. There is a strong case for systematic additional driver training every 5 years to be encouraged and incentivised by both the Government and insurance industry.”
Over 1.5 million consumers consult What Car? every month. In print the What Car? stable also includes the What Car? New Car Guide, and the What Car? Price Guide. Online, the brand offers the UK’s most comprehensive reviews site at whatcar.com, plus What Car? Mobile and What Car? Video. What Car? also powers the UK’s first ever female-focussed car buyers site, evecars.com.
Haymarket Consumer Media is the United Kingdom’s largest independently owned publishing company with a portfolio of over 150 titles, ranging from specialist consumer magazines to business titles and customer publications, published via wholly owned subsidiaries, joint ventures and under licence worldwide.