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Less Than Half Of Experienced Drivers Would Pass Current Theory Test

By raccars Published

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Car insurance firm, Churchill, has conducted an investigation revealing that nearly two thirds of experienced drivers would be unable to pass the current theory test, if examined.

The hazard perception test proved just too hazardous for 34% of those involved in the study, while the multiple choice part of the test was too difficult for half of experienced drivers. Both of these elements must be passed to achieve an overall pass.

Despite - or perhaps because of - their poor performance, 53% of the survey respondents supported the idea of compulsory re-testing at regular periods, to make sure drivers are up to date with road regulations. Drivers nominated 10 years as the appropriate period of time between re-tests, with 8% suggesting obligatory re-testing every one to five years.

The study subjected 50 experienced drivers to the current theory test. The area which saw them struggle the most was road and traffic signage, while vehicle handling and accidents was the second trickiest area of knowledge. Vulnerable road users were the third and vehicle safety the fourth most challenging sections of the test. Only 15% of those participating in the test considered themselves fully 'road literate' and confident in their knowledge of road signs.

Experienced drivers performed better in the hazard perception portion of the test than answering multiple choice questions, suggesting that their experience of the road helped them in that element. However, poor knowledge of road regulations and signage is still a concern. As the introduction of the theory test is relatively recent, there are a large number of drivers on the road who have never been subject to this level of testing on road regulations and signs.

There are two parts to the current theory test and candidates must be successful in both to be able to progress to the practical testing stage. The first part includes 50 multiple choice questions, of which at least 43 must be correctly answered within 57 minutes. There are more than 1,000 questions over 14 topics from which the test is set by choosing 50 at random.

The next step is a hazard perception exercise where candidates watch 14 short video clips, within which they must identify potential road hazards. Out of a possible 75 points (up to five for each hazard presented), candidates must score at least 44 to pass, within 20 minutes. The theory test is updated regularly to follow changes in road regulations.

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