It has been over 80 years since the driving test was first introduced in the UK, and over the years it has evolved immeasurably, increasing the safety of our roads greatly. The Government are now looking at how they can develop the driving test further, to ensure that new drivers have the knowledge and experience to drive more safely.
The proposal for changes include encouraging Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) to ensure their students are learning to drive a vehicle safely on the roads, and not just learning enough to get them through their practical driving test. People learning to drive need to remember that it is not just about passing your test, but having the skills to safely negotiate the roads.
Young drivers only make up 5% of the miles driven each year on UK roads, but they account for 15% of drivers involved in road traffic accidents. This figure clearly shows that more needs to be done to ensure that young drivers are truly ready to face whatever is out on the roads.
The Government want to encourage people to only take their test when they feel they are ready for independent driving. They should only apply for their test once they are judged “ready”, and not as soon as possible.
Less than half of the people who currently take their driving test pass first time. The Government want to make this statistic much higher, by encouraging people to only apply for their test when they are truly ready.
Changes to the test itself could involve including more real life driving experiences. This includes in the practical test, as well as in the theory test and hazard perception. Introducing different times of day and weather conditions would better test a candidate’s ability to safely control a car in any situation.
They also want to look into voluntary electronic logbooks for learner drivers. This would require both students and ADIs to log all of the lessons taken, to track the hours the person has spent in the car driving, as well as record progress made. This will enable them to see how far they have come and what further could be done before they are ready to take their test.
Widening a learner driver’s experience on the roads will also be considered, and the Government will look to change the law to allow learner drivers to drive on a motorway and get practice of driving on different types of road. In order to drive on a motorway, a learner driver would have to be accompanied by an ADI and also be in a dual controlled car.
Another part that will be assessed and encouraged by ADIs is a learner driver’s consideration of other road users, particularly taking into account vulnerable road users. Learner drivers will need to show how they would show consideration and respect for other people on the roads.
Emma Greenhalgh, Associate and Litigation Executive, specialist in road traffic accidents at Freeclaim Solicitors commented, “Improving driving standards and making a more vigorous test will only improve the road safety record in the UK further, and anything that keeps young drivers safer on our roads is definitely welcomed by all here at Freeclaim Solicitors. Day in day out we see the results of people who do not have enough experience on our roads, and understand the devastating consequences of serious road accidents.”
If you have been involved in a road traffic accident, Freeclaim Solicitors can help you to claim the compensation you deserve. Speak to one of our specialist road accident solicitors today on 0800 612 7340.