Young drivers benefit from more practice

October 16, 2014 | By | In News

A number of young motorists who have just passed their driving test are not as prepared as they could be for life on the road, a new survey carried out by Privilege car insurance has found.

More than 500,000 drivers have passed their test in the last year, however, a significant proportion of these may have large gaps in their knowledge on the roads, this research has discovered, which could lead to some avoidable accidents, if they don’t seek extra training.

Nearly three quarters of young drivers didn’t experience wintry weather when learning to drive, while 47 per cent of respondents said that they had not driven at night. Driving in snowy and icy conditions, however, was a concern for a third of respondents, with a quarter having a crash due to wintry conditions, which could have been avoided had these young drivers gained greater experience across a wider arrange of conditions.

Driving at night was less of a worry for young drivers, with just 14 per cent concerned about heading out onto poorly lit roads, though 17 per cent reported having a crash in the dark. However, a lower proportion of drivers experienced heavy rain while learning – at 48 per cent – with wet conditions leading to accidents for 18 per cent of young motorists.

Learning to drive should not be seen as a formality in order to pass a test, it is an opportunity to develop driving skills so that when people do hit the road alone, they can do so with confidence.

The survey also revealed some interesting views on motorways and B road driving; though 74 per cent didn’t experience motorway driving while learning (which actually seems very low, considering that learners are forbidden from using motorways) and 24 per cent were concerned about heading onto some of the UK’s biggest roads, just nine per cent experienced any problems on these roads.

However, though drivers were more confident about B road driving, with just nine per cent feeling unprepared for these roads, 25 per cent have had an accident on these smaller roads.

With driving lessons focusing on basic skills behind the wheel, rather than building motorists’ experience across all conditions, it seems that many young drivers would benefit from more in-depth lessons once they have passed.

Charlotte Fielding, head of car insurance at Privilege, commented: “Learning to drive should not be seen as a formality in order to pass a test, it is an opportunity to develop driving skills so that when people do hit the road alone, they can do so with confidence.”

Picture: ACP prod

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