UK Driving Theory Test Doesn’t Prepare Country’s Learners for Motorway Life
The UK driving theory test and practical exam have been in the headlines recently following the announcement of a ‘makeover’. However, many of Britain’s learner drivers don’t think the theory test or practical exam do enough to prepare them, especially for motorway driving. Let’s find out why…
The RAC kindly carried out a survey recently to determine how Britain’s newest motorists feel about motorway driving. The results are in, and it would appear that a large majority reckon they’re not prepared enough to tackle the motorway, despite passing the UK driving theory test and practical exam.
According to the survey, which had 2,000 participants, just 14 per cent of respondents believed that they were confident enough to take to the country’s fastest roads. This indicates a potential issue with the standard of driver education.
Does the UK driving theory test educate enough?
In order to apply theory, one has to understand the practical side of something. While the UK driving theory test does ask questions in relation to motorway driving, learner drivers don’t have to access to motorways during their lessons. Equally, motorway driving does not feature in the UK practical driving test.
Why? The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the Department for Transport (DfT) have deemed motorway driving too dangerous, not only for learner drivers, but for other road users.
The RAC’s road safety chief, Pete Williams, said: “Many learner drivers do not live in an area which has access to the motorway network. In addition, those drivers that live in regions furthest away from a motorway are less likely to drive on one on a regular basis.”
Mr Williams went on to say that the high speeds on the motorway can be ‘nerve-wracking’ for new drivers who recently passed their UK driving theory test and practical exam, adding that they might feel vulnerable when they take to these types of roads for the first time.
Motorway learner lanes?
Surely, the only way learner drivers can learn to drive safely on the motorway is to drive on them. It might be an idea to convert long stretches of the hard shoulder into designated ‘learner lanes’, exclusively designed for learners and new motorists to practice in and build confidence.
However, although 79 per cent of those surveyed by the RAC said that driving standards would improve with actual experience of driving on Britain’s motorways, the thought of doing it made them apprehensive.
Data shows that motorways in the UK are the safest roads in the country. Despite this, combined with the knowledge that all approved driving instructors in Britain operate dual controlled cars, a minority of respondents think driving standards would worsen if learners were allowed on motorways.
Nevertheless, the survey does show that almost half of survey respondents did not feel fully prepared for ‘life in the fast lane’ after passing their UK driving theory test and practical exam. The RAC claims that this is the perfect time to consider new policies.
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