A new survey carried out by the out by the consumer website vouchercloud has found that only 26% of recently qualified drivers in the UK passed their test thanks to lessons predominantly provided by a professional driving instructor. The survey involved input from 2000 newly qualified drivers.
Looking more closely at the figures the poll found that only 26% of newly qualified drivers used an approved driving instructor (ADI) for the majority of their lessons prior to taking and passing their driving test whilst 46% said they predominantly learned with a family member and a further 28% said they learned with a friend.
The reasoning behind learning in an informal capacity was because of the expense of driving instructors, with an average of £810 spent for those using instructors for most of their lessons, compared to an average of £180 for those who used family and friends. In most instances those who learned with family and friends did also use a professional driving instructor, but for a much shorter amount of time, an average of 8 hours in fact compared to the average of 36 hours for those who used an instructor for the bulk of their lessons.
Driving instructors are key to ensuring drivers learning to navigate our roads and understand our systems are fully prepared for their driving test and in many instances impart additional wisdom which can stand new drivers in good stead. Of course the driving test itself is the same whether a driver has one or 100 lessons from an instructor and therefore there is nothing to suggest that drivers who have less experience with an ADI are any less ready or prepared for the roads.
There are consistent calls for changes to the driving licensing system and how it needs to be updated to reflect modern society. With genuine demand for new schemes such as the Graduated Driver License, there is definitely scope for approved driving instructors to take a key role in helping to ensure the newer drivers on our roads are fully prepared and fully aware of the importance of driving safely. There are incentives which help to give new drivers a push towards safer driving such as Pass Plus which is a further advanced driving course and it can result in lowered insurance for the driver in question, as they have demonstrated their superior driving awareness and skills.
With more and more people relying upon friends and family to prepare them for our roads, it is especially important that the road safety campaigners continue to press the government for as many safety measures as possible to be put in place and that awareness and the testing process itself is consistently evaluated and updated.