You’ve been driving for long enough to consider yourself an experienced driver.
You drive every day and cope with all kinds of situations and, apart from getting stressed out occasionally, driving is something you do almost without thinking, so you might think that no, passing your test again wouldn’t be a problem.
Well done, – you belong to a small minority of the driving population. Or do you?
A recent survey carried out by Direct Line Insurance found that over 75% of fifty ‘experienced’ drivers would flunk their test if they sat it again today.
They found that the drivers who failed made an average of three serious or even dangerous, manoeuvres. One experienced driver made ten.
Do you, for instance, ever drive at 40mph in a 30mph zone? Do you ever fail to spot the kerb when executing a three-point turn and give it an embarrassing bump?
Has a pedestrian ever had to take evasive action when you didn’t notice them because you failed to check your car’s blind spot?
Doing any one of the above is bad enough when you’re driving normally, but doing so during a driving test would represent a so-called ‘major’ fault. Drivers are given a major fault if they are considered to put their examiner, member of the public or property at risk because of their driving behaviour and are instantly failed.
When you sit a test you’re allowed to make no more than fifteen ‘minor’ faults, such as choosing the wrong gear or failing to check a mirror before being failed. In the survey, the average number of minor faults for those who failed the test was sixteen.
One person managed to commit 42 minor faults, with another being awarded 14 minors alone for misusing the gears!
Of those surveyed, the majority received minor points for a lack of control over their vehicle, as in choosing the wrong gear, or inadequate concentration, as in not using the mirrors properly.
One possible explanation for complacency among so many experienced drivers could be down to the over-use of driving aids, including satnav, as well as blind spot and parking sensors.
Over two thirds of motorists depend on these type of sensors and around half use satnav. If this sounds at all familiar to you, perhaps it’s time to consider whether your driving ‘experience’ includes a few too many bad habits acquired since you passed your test all those years ago.