What the driving test doesn’t teach learners – but should

Young Driver, a provider of driving lessons for youngsters under the age of 17, asked 1,000 motorists what aspects of driving they thought be prioritised in the process of learning to drive.

Driving at the correct speed, driver etiquette and avoiding distractions were among the most popular choices, but 35% said they thought learners have instruction on how to opening a car door in a tight parking space without damaging other vehicles. 

An overwhelming majority also thought that many road users should be sent back to a driving school to refine their skills!

According to the research, the top ten areas that motorists wished drivers could be taught more successfully were:

  • Not to use a mobile phone when driving – 56%
  • Not to drive too fast – 49%
  • The dangers of tailgating – 47%
  • Driving etiquette, such as thanking other drivers or allowing people to filter in – 45%
  • How to drive on motorways – 43%
  • How to drive at night – 40%
  • Not to be a middle lane hog – 40%
  • How to park better – 40%
  • To always use an indicator – 38%
  • How to open a car door in a tight parking space without banging it into the car next to you – 35%

“Sometimes, when learning to drive, there’s a focus on the mechanics of driving – but we all know there’s much more to it than biting points and gear changes,” Laura White from Young Driver said. “A large part of being a good driver boils down to having a greater awareness of other road users and being courteous to those around you.

“There are also certain areas where more practical tuition would help too, like motorway or night time driving, which are needed by nearly all drivers but are not an essential part of the learning process. Of course, in many cases, people may have been taught the right way to drive, but bad habits slip over time.