Experienced drivers fail driving test

Updated: 

Driving instructor congratulating student

Many experienced motorists would fail the driving test if they had to take it again now, a survey has revealed.

Direct Line organised an experiment in which 50 experienced drivers were required to take a driving test.

Shockingly, more than three quarters of them failed the test suggesting that most most seasoned drivers might struggle to pass the driving test if they were required to take it again today.

Those who failed recorded an average of three serious or dangerous faults, with one participant committing 10 major faults.

Just one major fault, or more than 15 minor faults, can fail a candidate. In the mock test, the experienced drivers who failed committed an average of 16 minor faults, with one driver recording as many as 42.

One motorist drove at 40mph in a 30mph zone, and another failed to see the kerb when doing a three-point turn. One driver even failed to spot a pedestrian by not properly checking their blind spot, forcing the pedestrian to move back onto the pavement.

The vast majority of drivers were awarded minor faults for a lack of concentration behind the wheel and a lack of control over the vehicle, most commonly using the wrong gear and failing to check their mirrors. One driver received 14 minor points for misuse of gears.

Direct Line said complacent driving and a lack of concentration at the wheel could be caused by an over-reliance on in-car driving aids, such as parking sensors or blind spot monitors.

Further research by Direct Line among 4,000 UK adults revealed that 68% of UK drivers rely on driving aids behind the wheel, with almost half (48%) of motorists stating that they use a sat nav.

Direct Line's motor director Rob Miles said: "While drivers gain experience with age, it's easy to pick up bad habits that could be potentially dangerous and put other road users at risk.

"Driving aids are becoming increasingly common and when used correctly, can result in a safer, more-comfortable driving experience.

"However, it's important that drivers don't rely too heavily on these aids, as it can be to the detriment of both their overall ability and concentration on the road ahead."

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