The current pass rate for the practical driving test in the UK is about 49%. However, plans are being made by the government to change the test in an attempt to increase the pass rate and improve road safety. Since it was first implemented in 1935, there have been little changes made to the test. The team has put together the top five changes we would like to see in a shake-up of the driving test.        

1.Motorway lessons

This is something the government is already taking into consideration. It’s currently illegal for anyone with a provisional license to drive on a motorway. So it’s only after someone has passed their test that they can drive on one and they may not have the benefit of an experienced driver next to them. This can cause many new drivers to be nervous when it comes to driving on motorways and can become a hazard to other drivers. Motorway lessons could help to prevent this and provide new drivers with experience and confidence on the motorway.     

2.Eyesight test

The current eyesight test only requires having to read a license plate correctly from 20 metres away. But including an examination of a driver’s field of vision to judge whether they can react to what is happening around them could further improve road safety. Although not directly related to the driving test, it would also be beneficial to provide a medical record of your eyesight when renewing your license every 10 years as a person’s eyesight usually diminishes with age. 

3.Raising the age limit

The current legal age for a person to start learning how to drive and have a driver’s license in the UK is 17. However, there is an argument to raise this to 18 or older due to young drivers being more likely to be involved in an accident than older, more experienced drivers. The age bracket of 17-19 makes up 1.5% of UK licence holders, but accounts for 12% of fatal and serious crashes in the UK. Young drivers can be over-confident, inexperienced in identifying hazards and more willing to take risks. Raising the driving age limit could significantly reduce the number of accidents.  

4.Deposit scheme

A deposit scheme would see learners get back the money they paid for their test if they pass. This would encourage learners to delay taking their test until they are more comfortable and ready by having an incentive to pass. The practical test costs £62 during a weekday, if a learner was able to get this back by passing their test then they may choose to wait before taking it and possibly have a few more lessons so they are more prepared.     

5.Using a satnav

Satnavs are now becoming common place in most cars. Many car journeys involve them to find a destination rather than using a map or relying on a person for directions. The use of them during tests to provide verbal instructions, rather than from the driving instructor, could be beneficial. This will make the test more realistic and help learners to become used to using one whilst driving. New drivers would therefore be more relaxed when using one for directions, without them being more of a distraction.