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Are young drivers safe on the roads?Back

NewDriversA new report has revealed that four in ten young drivers admit they are unsafe on the road, with two thirds of parents in agreement.

Plans for a revised driving test are imminent, and with the theory test now 20 years old, the new changes could not come a moment sooner according to the latest survey by Continental Tyres.

Road accidents remain the biggest killer of young people and the new research reveals 800,000 young motorists think that they have an inadequate level of road safety knowledge.

In addition, the survey of 1000 motorists revealed that 50 per cent would not know where to start when it comes to the basic maintenance of their cars, such as checking their tyres.

Less than half of young drivers knew their legal tyre tread limit and one in five had no idea solution they have available to them should they get a puncture.

Earlier this year, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) invited the public to give their views on plans to improve the car driving test in a bid to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads.

Changes to the driving test will help  improve the situation, and plans were revealed to make the new test, ” a better assessment of the candidate’s ability to drive independently in modern driving conditions.”

The DVSA published a consultation asking for views on the proposed changes, with a deadline of 25 August, and they are still in the process of analysing the results. Some of the changes which have been outlined are listed below:

  • Increasing the ‘independent driving’ part of the test from 10 to 20 minutes
  • Asking candidates to follow directions from a sat nav during the ‘independent driving’ part
  • Replacing the ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn in the road’ manoeuvres with more real-life scenarios, for example, driving into and reversing out of a parking bay.
  • Asking one of the two vehicle safety questions while the candidate is driving, for example, asking them to use the rear heated screen
  • 52% of car drivers now have a sat nav – DVSA wants new drivers to be trained to use them safely

The changes have been proposed in line with the latest findings by the DVSA which reveal that most fatal collisions happen on high-speed roads (not including motorways), therefore changing the format of the test will allow more of these types of roads to be included in driving test routes.

The DVSA is currently working with the Transport Research Laboratory to find out how the changes better reflect real-life driving with over 4,500 learner drivers and 850 driving instructors already having taken part in a research trial at 32 locations across Great Britain.

DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said:

“Great Britain’s roads are among the safest in the world. But there’s still more that we can do to keep road users safe – particularly newly-qualified drivers.

“Making sure that the test better assesses a driver’s ability to drive safely and independently is part of our strategy to help every driver through a lifetime of safe driving.”

Initial feedback from those who have taken part in the trial and representatives from the driver training industry has been positive and supportive of the proposed changes.

They include driving instructor associations, the RAC, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the AA.

 

Posted by Leana Kell on 30/09/2016