Two in three experienced motorists would fail the theory test
- Half of drivers in the study failed the multiple choice section of the test
- More than a third failed the hazard perception section of theory exam
Two out of three experienced motorists would fail the driving theory test if they took it today, a study found.
And the biggest stumbling block is basic traffic signs, according to researchers who gave 50 drivers a real copy of the test.
In the results from the test only 33 per cent of experienced motorists scraped through, compared to 51.6 per cent of novice drivers who pass their theory today.
The questions on road and traffic signs were the most likely to trip drivers up, followed by those on vehicle handling and accidents.
However, they did well on questions dealing with other types of vehicles, suggesting that their road experience may have helped them in this area.
The research, by Churchill Car Insurance, also found that more than half (53 per cent) of drivers think it should be compulsory to retake the theory test. Churchills report concluded: ‘that motorist felt that ten years would be the most appropriate frequency for retaking the theory test.’
Around one in 12 (8 per cent) wanted a retest every five years – but not everyone agreed. Roughly one in seven drivers (15 per cent) felt that they were ‘completely road literate’ and never had any trouble reading signs.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency theory test, introduced in 1996, consists of 50 questions, randomly taken from a bank of hundreds. Candidates must answer at least 43 questions correctly within an allowed time of 57 minutes.
Before the test starts you’ll get:
- instructions on how the test works
- the chance to do some practice questions to get used to the screens
Was first used in 2002, involves watching a video of a driving scenario and clicking on the screen to demonstrate awareness whenever a hazard appears.
Before you start the hazard perception test, you’ll be shown a video about how it works.
You’ll then watch 14 video clips. The clips:
- feature everyday road scenes
- contain at least one ‘developing hazard’ – but one of the clips features 2 developing hazards
You get points for spotting the developing hazards as soon as they start to happen.
You can score up to 5 points for each developing hazard & you must score 44 out of a possible 75 points
On average, novices taking the test score higher than experienced drivers did in the study. For the 1.54million theory tests taken in 2013/14, the pass rate was 51.6 per cent. Among men it was 48.8 per cent and for women, 54.7 per cent.
Steve Barrett, head of Churchill Car Insurance, said:
An inability to read the road properly often leads to hesitant and unsafe driving, so we’d urge all road users to regularly brush up on their knowledge of road signs and regulations, as these are frequently updated.
So there you have it, when it comes to the theory you could be better than your parents…