The car driving test changed in December 2017 in England, Scotland, and Wales. The primary aim of the changes was to provide new drivers with improved skills for a lifetime of safe driving.
But, DVSA reports reveal that around 1.6 million learners sat the new driving test in 2018 and more than 50% of them flunked it!
As a consequence, the DVSA also revealed the top ten driving test faults that new drivers made in the first year of the new test .
The list below shows ten of the most common reasons learners failed the driving test since the DVSA made the changes.
But, the reason most learner drivers failed was:
So, what advice does the DVSA have for learner drivers? First of all, they urge them to spend more time practising their driving skills and observation techniques.
Using a variety of different roads will also help (e.g. practice driving on country roads and on dual carriageways).
The DVSA also encourage learners to spend more time driving in different road conditions. For example, practice driving when it is raining and try to get familiar with driving during the dark hours.
Note: In fact there is no legal minimum number of lessons needed to learn to drive a car and take the test. It varies from one person to another. But, DVSA suggest it takes around 50 hours of lessons for most learners.
The list shows the most common mistakes new drivers made when sitting the new driving test between the 4th of December 2017 and the 3rd of December 2018.
Note: The DVSA produces detailed guidance on what the different markings mean on a driving test report. There are three types of test faults you can make. But, making one of the majors (a serious or dangerous fault) results in automatic failure.
Statistical data (found in the 'RAS50') reveals how driving test faults reflect many of the factors that cause road traffic accidents. In fact, drivers failing to look properly accounted for a staggering 39% of all accidents in Great Britain in 2017.
In simple terms, it means the faults that new drivers make in driving tests reflect the exact same factors which lead to most of the accidents happening on the roads in Britain.
For example, drivers who failed to look 'properly' contributed to 35,993 accidents during 2017. It proved to be the most common contributory factor of all accidents.
Learner drivers and riders must have the skills to drive safely on all types of roads before they sit the test. The purpose of the driving test is to help drivers prepare for a lifetime of safe driving when using the road. Doing so helps to make our roads safer for all users.
Failing to make the proper observations at road junctions is the most common serious or dangerous test fault. So, a crucial part of learning to drive is developing good observation skills combined with the proper use of vehicle mirrors.
Reading the UK Highway Code is essential for all road users. The guidance states the rules that drivers and riders must obey. It also offers advice on avoiding common driving faults, such as:
The DVSA released even more notable information after a member of the public made a Freedom of Information request about test candidates.
Note: Any candidate who fails the driving test must wait at least ten (10) working days before they can take another.
For most, dealing with nerves is a normal part of the driving test. But, if you have an ADI car driving instructor they will try to ensure you make the appropriate preparation.
The DVSA Guide to Driving is full of advice to help drivers and riders stay safe on the roads. Remember, the role of a driving examiner is not to catch you out. Their aim is to make sure you can drive your vehicle 'safely'.
Note: The short video clip [1:42 seconds] is the Official DVSA guide that explains what will happen during the driving test and what it takes to pass it.
Top Ten Reasons Learners Fail New DVSA Driving Test