Automotive

Why stricter tests mean parents are struggling to help their children learn to drive

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Would you be confident in teaching your child how to drive? If not, you're not alone. Changes to the driving test mean that fewer and fewer parents are now confident in teaching their teenagers to drive - and the Government is set to make changes to the driving test to make it even tougher.

The proposed changes to the driving test come as AA research shows that the amount of professional tuition needed to pass the driving test has raised by over 50 per cent in the last 20 years. Keep reading to learn more about how driving tests are more difficult than ever.

Changes to the driving test mean parents no longer have the expertise to help their kids pass

New research by the AA has examined the amount of driving tuition that learners need today compared to two decades ago. They found that in the early 1990s, learners needed around 3o hours of professional tuition with a driving instructor. However, with the introduction of new theory tests and a longer, more complicated driving test, the average number of hours of professional tuition needed by a learner has risen to 47.

Karen Parker, a senior driving instructor at the AA Driving School, told the Daily Telegraph: "Years ago, parents felt able to pass their driving skills on to their children to get them swiftly through the driving test, with a few paid-for lessons on the side.

"But today, with dramatic changes to the driving test and tougher road conditions it's not that simple. It's no longer a case of using your common sense. You have to know exactly how to pass the test too."

Experts believe that it is right that the driving test has become more difficult and that young people should undergo additional tuition when learning to drive. The Association of British Insurers says an 18-year-old is more than three times as likely as a 48-year-old to be involved in a crash, and a third of drivers killed in car accidents are under 25.

Ms Parker from the AA added: "The standard of the test has come up a lot. There were a lot of things you could get away with five years ago which would get you failed now.

"It's great that parents want to teach their children but they have to teach them correctly cheap lease deals. For example, during the test you must now position yourself one metre from the near side kerb, depending on varying road conditions.

"It might be shocking to drivers who remember the test being fairly easy, but you're driving must be much more precise today. You have to move off and stop at least five times, including on a hill and a main road. You must turn right, and left and merge with traffic. It is all very intense, rather like a rally course with a stream of instructions."

And, the driving test is set to become even more difficult under new Government proposals released this March. We examine these next.

Government considering changes to improve road safety among young drivers

The Government is considering changes to driving lessons and the driving test in an attempt to improve safety for young drivers. The Telegraph reports that proposals include improved driver training, a tougher driving test, and the introduction of a minimum learning period and an extension of the probationary period for new drivers from two to three years.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research for the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: "The publication of a new Green Paper for young drivers is a once-in-a-generation opportunity… but any new approach must be based on saving lives and not reducing insurance premiums."

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