A new driving test came into force today, designed to focus on modern styles of driving and road scenarios, in an attempt to bring the format up to date.
Candidates are now faced with moking manoeuvres, such as reverse bay-parking, while dated, such as the reverse around a corner, it will be removed.
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) research shows that half of motorists use a sat-nav, but about a quarter of all accidents involving new drivers are caused by their being distracted. The new test aims to address this through the integration of sat-nav in the test for the first time.
Drivers test will now be asked to follow the directions to a predetermined destination, enabling inspectors to evaluate the rider’s ability to follow instructions, while also adhering to road signs.
The independent driving section of the driving test, where drivers are asked to follow the directions to a destination without any further instructions from the examiner or sat-nav, will be extended from 10 to 20 minutes.
In addition, inspectors now ask the questions of safety, while the driver is in motion, or even ask them to use the arrows on some of the controls such as the heated screen.
Edmund King, president of the AA, welcomed the changes, telling Autocar: “we know that new drivers are at a higher risk on the roads, then we need to better prepare them for the real world of driving. These changes test driver in a more realistic manner, which is essential to enhance their security once their L-plates are removed. The changes, in particular the extensive, independent guidance and the use of a satellite navigation system, it should help you to produce the best and most safe for motorists.
“We have already had positive feedback from our driving instructors and their pupils, and, therefore, fully support this proposed change.
“In the future, we need to see more changes to the test when we have more electric, connected and semi-autonomous cars on our roads.”
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