IAM calls for changes to current practical driving test

Published: 26/01/2012

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has renewed its call to the government to include training on single-carriage rural A-roads in the current practical driving test in an attempt to improve road safety and reduce road traffic accidents.

According to its research, 82 per cent of rural fatal and serious casualties occur on single carriageway roads while only 18 per cent take place on motorways and dual carriageways roads.

The IAM blames new driver inexperience for this significant difference and believes the current driving test should be changed to incorporate such training, something new drivers would actually welcome.

According to its recent report into younger drivers, The Fast and the Curious, new drivers readily admit feeling unprepared for real life driving scenarios.

Despite accounting for only 8 per cent of all driving licence holders, 30 per cent of road accident fatalities are drivers and passengers aged 17-24. IAM, whilst acknowledging the importance of learning such driving skills as parking and low speed manoeuvres, is adamant that dealing with high speed corners, bad weather and overtaking is far more vital to strengthen new drivers’ skill set.

Simon Best is the IAM’s Chief Executive:

“More than half the cars on our roads are rated as four or the maximum five-star in European safety tests, and the figure is even higher for new cars. Our roads are also getting safer in their design.

“But the roads where drivers, especially young drivers, are most frequently killed and injured are still not consistently part of the driving test. The minister recently announced young drivers would be allowed to use motorways when accompanied by an instructor, but it is single carriageway A-roads where the real problem lies.

“Driver and driver error is a contributory factor in two thirds of accidents. We can only improve our cars and roads so far. The challenge now is to improve the humans that drive them, to continue our outstanding record of road safety.”¹

¹IAM (Jan 2012)

Content correct at time of publication

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