Posted on: 17/01/2015
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and young driver safety organisation the Under 17 Car Club Charitable Trust are calling for the UK driving test to be revamped to make it more relevant to the real world.
Currently the driving test does not include any testing of a driver’s ability to cope safely with country roads, poor weather or driving at night - aspects both organisations know are the main risk factors in the first six months of solo driving.
Road accidents remain the biggest killer of young people in the UK, higher than both alcohol and drugs. In 2013 there were 191 people under 24 killed and 20,003 injured as drivers and riders of cars and motorbikes.
In the past five years (2009-13) there were 1,037 people under 24 killed and 120,958 injured on UK roads as drivers and riders - while the overall trend has been falling, these figures are unacceptable.
Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “The driving test needs to become a much more integrated part of a graduated licensing system that picks up on best practice from around the world. For instance, Austria has a ’second phase’ licensing system, where young drivers come back in the 12 months after the test for a further three interventions to examine attitude changes and skills.”
Young male driver casualties have dropped by a third in in Austria as a result of the initiative.
The report also points out that while speeding, drink driving, mobile phone use, tailgating, road rage and bad weather are all important, none are as frequently reported as driver error as the cause of road accidents.
Through its progressive system of young driver development the Under 17 Car Club gives instruction to address this issue, as well as guidance on night driving and how to handle roads in different weather, lighting and grip levels, plus very importantly develop driver attitude, and understanding of risk and consequence.
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