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Would You Pass the Driving Test If You Were to Retake It? Statistics Say Fifty-Fifty

It almost seems unfathomable: how could you fail now, after miles and miles of experience, at something you were able to pass back when you were a pubescent 17-year-old?
Mercedes-AMG CLA45 Shooting Brake 1 photo
Photo: Catalin Garmacea
Only two explanations come to our mind: first is that the driving test isn’t very well conceived. It encourages people to learn stuff they will soon forget, just to meet this immediate goal. It’s similar to the whole antiquated educational system that emphasizes memory instead of creativity and improvisation based on a minimum of accumulated facts.

The second one is even more depressing. If it turns out to be true, it would mean that driving on public roads is actually a perverting activity, one that takes the young and pure drivers coming off the driving school benches and turns them into inconsiderate pricks who never use the turning indicators and are prone to feature in those YouTube road rage clips we enjoy so much.

Well, regardless which of the two is the real explanation (we guess it’s a bit of both), a small - very small - study conducted by the British Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) together with Auto Express on 12 experienced drivers showed some worrying results.

The IAM assessors found that only six of the twelve participants would have been eligible to receive their driving license under the current conditions. The UK driving test has reached its 80th anniversary this year, but it would appear its purpose is still served: to allow only the best prepared drivers on the road.

Of the 12 participants, seven benefited from advanced driving tuition from IAM and five of them were among the six who passed. That goes to show that the problem doesn’t necessarily lie with the driving test, but with the preparation.

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, commented on the findings: “The results of our joint experiment were very interesting. It shows that keeping your skills topped up and knowledge of the Highway Code current is crucial in making safer drivers and riders.

Road skills cannot be allowed to lapse. Keeping your skills current through advanced tuition and other proven methods can only be a benefit to everyone who uses our roads.”

While she’s referring to British drivers in particular, what she’s saying is applicable anywhere in the world where there are more than one road and one vehicle.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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