The driving theory test has been around for more than 20 years now. However, it would seem the theory side of driving doesn’t sink in with many of Britain’s motorists. A recent survey has revealed that many UK car drivers have a ‘shocking’ lack of road knowledge, begging the question, is the theory test failing?
A theory test-inspired questionnaire carried out by IAM RoadSmart suggests that many of Britain’s motorists need to brush up on the Highway Code. According to the results of IAM RoadSmart’s survey, a shockingly high number of road users didn’t know the meaning of certain road signs.
Just 68% of motorists knew what the speed bump sign means, while only 48% of those surveyed correctly identified the roundabout sign.
Traffic light sequences proved tricky for most too, with only 64% of respondents knowing that a red traffic light is followed by a red and amber light. 30% thought it was just an amber light, while 5% were certain that the sequence went straight to green.
Driving Conduct Questions
Far more alarming answers were given in the driving conduct section of the survey, with only 32% of motorists knowing that there should be at least a two-second time gap between their vehicle and the vehicle ahead when driving on a dry, open road.
The survey found that younger motorists were more likely to answer questions incorrectly, fuelling the idea that the theory test is having very little impact on improving the road knowledge of the next generation of motorists.
17 – 39 year-olds who took part in the survey had the lowest correct answer percentage of all participants for 14 of the 23 questions asked. However, experience wasn’t always a guarantee of motoring knowledge, with 76% of 17 – 39 year-olds correctly identifying the speed bump sign compared to 64% of 40+ year-olds.
IAM RoadSmart’s director of policy and research, Neil Greig, said: “Many drivers don’t look at the Highway Code regularly after they’ve passed their theory test or practical exam, but no-one’s memory is perfect and it’s crucial to read and understand the most recent version of the Highway Code for the safety of all road users.”
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