The driving hazard perception test is outdated and does not reflect modern conditions, 53 per cent of new drivers have said in a new study.
Half of drivers said it did not prepare them for the hazards they faced when they past their test and started to drive.
It should be updated to include modern hazards including potholes, couriers, children on scooters, vape clouds from car windows and low-flying drones.
Children on scooters, drones, potholes and pedestrians on phones should be included
The current test which was introduced in 2002, contains hazards including a cyclist and horse riders but one of the most common modern hazards for drivers, which 41 per cent of drivers in a survey put first, was potholes.
This was followed by pedestrians on mobile phones, chosen by 33 per cent, children on scooters, picked by 21 per cent and vape clouds, put first by 11 per cent.
The insurer LV asked 3,489 drivers, including 1,289 who have recently passed their test, how they felt about the test.
Of those, 57 per cent said they don’t believe new drivers are being properly prepared to deal with hazards they face on the road with the current test.
It has now created a new version of the test which includes modern hazards.
You can try out LV’s new hazard perception test for yourself.
Or try it here if you’re on a desktop computer. It’s harder than you think. Can you get more than 18 out 20?
The test hasn’t been updated for 16 years, yet 54 per cent of respondents said hazards on the road have changed and there are now more than when they first started driving.
The insurer is now calling on the government to update the test to make sure newly qualified drivers are better prepared for modern hazards.
53 per cent of new drivers said the current hazard perception test is outdated
Heather Smith, managing director of the LV direct business said: ‘Driving conditions have changed a lot since the hazard perception test was launched 16 years ago.
‘New drivers told us that the hazards they experience aren’t featured in the test, contributing to them being unprepared for today’s roads. We believe that all drivers should feel confident on the road, which is why we are calling on the Government to update the current test.
‘It’s also the reason why we launched our multi-car insurance product this year, helping to ensure that drivers of all ages and levels of experience have the protection they need.’
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents supports LV call.
Kevin Clinton, Head of Road Safety at RoSPA, said: ‘In recent years, more accidents have occurred due to ‘modern’ driving hazards. For example, year-on-year we have seen an increase in the number of incidents due to potholes.
‘Our advice to new drivers is to expect the unexpected. That’s why we are supporting LV’s call to make sure the hazard perception test is kept relevant so it better-prepares new drivers for the hazards they’ll face.’
New guidelines where introduced at the end of last year to make the driving test tougher. The ‘independent driving’ section was doubled from ten to 20 minutes and during this time the driver is asked to follow and sat-nav and not take commands from the instructor.
41 per cent of those asked by LV said potholes should be included in the new test
Drivers may also now be asked to go down more challenging roads and to go either forwards or backwards into a parking space.
The cost for new drivers, especially those aged 17 and 18, is still eye-wateringly high and with the Department for Transport suggesting each learner should aim to have around 47 hours of professional tuition, costs soon spiral.
On top of this there is the expense of preparing for the theory part as well as the cost of the exam itself (£23) – plus the practical test (minimum £62) – and many new drivers can be left feeling that it is just too expensive to learn. Especially if it takes a few attempts to pass.
But it is possible to cut costs, our guide ‘From lessons to L-plates how to drive down cost of passing your test’ has full information and help.
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