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Passing your driving test is a momentous day in any young person’s life; you’ve finally got the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want… with your parents’ permission of course! You can visit friends, go on spontaneous road trips and let’s face it a car is much nicer than the bus.
The only problem is that the powers that be have to do everything in their power to ensure that young people are safe on the roads; for the well-being of other road users as well as the drivers themselves! What’s the best way to do that? Driving tests of course!

What Were Driving Tests Like In The Past?

Thanks to your parents you probably won’t be a stranger to the phrases ‘it was much harder than you have it in our day!’ and ‘we had to take the real exams at school’; well, driving tests may be the one and only thing that you can say is more difficult for you than it was for your parents.
Check out some of the facts:
–    The first ever driving test was taken on 1 June 1935 by Mr Beene.
–    Mandatory testing has resulted in the number of deaths on our roads, reducing from 7,300 to 2,000 despite the number of cars on the road increasing from 2.4 million to 34 million!
–    The theory test was only introduced in 1996.
–    The hazard perception section of the theory was introduced even later in 2002.
–    In 1935 an average of 63% drivers passed the test.
–    In 2004 the rate had fallen to 43%.
So there you have it, driving tests have gotten progressively harder over the years; take that Mum and Dad!

What Are You Tested On In Driving Test?

So we know that driving tests used to be as easy as pie (almost!) but if you’re about to begin learning to drive that knowledge won’t help you all that much. So what are you tested on in driving tests these days?
–    First you’ll have an eyesight test; it makes sense to find out if you actually see that road before you start driving on it!
–    If you have difficulty reading or if you can’t speak English, you can write down what you see.
–    Show me and tell me. Your examiner will ask you to carry out a basic safety check and then tell them how you’d carry out a check in the scenario given.
Of course, it’s then time to get on to the driving!
–    Hill start
–    Angle start
–    Normal stop
–    You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop
The dreaded manoeuvres! The examiner will ask you to complete at least one of the following:
–    Turn in the road
–    Reverse around a corner
–    Parallel park
You’ll then be asked to complete a period of 10 minutes of independent driving to assess your ability to make decisions and drive competently without instruction.

What Will They Change Next?

The government consistently review the efficacy of the testing system in order to increase safety on the roads and that means that there will always be changes to the way that young drivers learn and how they are tested.
Although the system hasn’t changed all that much in recent years, there have been some proposed plans:
–    Learner drivers should require a minimum of one year’s experience learning.
–    Newly passed drivers should be restricted on the number of passengers permitted in the first 6 months of driving.
–    Introduction of ban on intensive driving courses.
–    Introduction of driving tests to Universities- a trial has recently been launched in Nottingham Trent University.
Remember that these are only proposed plans, they haven’t been approved and they certainly haven’t been finalised! Who knows what they’ll bring in next but if you’re just starting to learn to drive then good luck and be safe!

This article was written by Jennifer Griffiths on behalf of Insure Learner Driver. Sometimes driving lessons aren’t enough to give you the necessary experience to pass your test. Getting insured on your family or friends’ car is a great way to get extra experience and Insure Learner Driver is the best place to go.