Have you ever had that conversation (argument) with someone about who is the best driver??
Well I have, quite a few times and it always boils down to who’s been driving the longest! My argument is that just because you have been driving for a while doesn’t always mean you are the best driver, you may be more complacent than newer drivers! And now I might even have the proof to back me up, thanks to Aviva!
Aviva car insurance challenged 38 drivers to see if they could still pass the theory test – to see if the more experienced driver was the better driver. Most people assumed that the longer they had been driving the better they were… let’s see if they were right.
Like most exams, the theory test can be a nerve-wracking experience, and passing certainly isn’t the easiest of tasks. The fact that, on average, over half (51%) of learner drivers fail goes to show exactly how difficult obtaining a licence can be.
But do you think most experienced drivers would pass if they were to retake their test today? Or would a similar number fall short?
To find out, we recently challenged experienced UK motorists to answer 38 questions from the multiple-choice section of the test. Many would reasonably assume that, the more experienced the driver, the more likely they would be to pass; so you may be surprised to learn that the study revealed the complete opposite.
Out of the 1000 people we surveyed, roughly one in eight (13%) were successful! It seems that once we obtain our licence, the knowledge fades and we completely forget some rules of the road.
Theory test results: the best and worst UK areas
The age old question: who are Britain’s best drivers, or in this case, the most knowledgeable?
With an average pass rate of around one in four (23%), Scotland had the highest area score. In contrast, only an alarming one in 33 (3%) Londoners were successful; a daunting statistic if the roads and streets of London are your daily route!
Countryside vs city
Our data highlighted disparities between city and countryside success rates; while an average of one in five (19%) rural drivers passed, only one in 20 (7%) urban drivers were successful. This inconsistency could potentially be attributed to the fact that car ownership in cities tends to be lower than in the countryside.
Intriguingly, however, the questions with the biggest percentage variance related to general driving, rather than driving in rural areas or specific scenarios. For example, nearly all (94%) rural drivers correctly answered ‘what reduces fuel consumption?’, whereas only two thirds (66%) of city motorists got this one right.
Experience vs Inexperience
In many areas of life, experience – without doubt – comes with time; but does this also hold true when it comes to driving?
The results revealed that it certainly does.
Only one in 20 (6%) people who have been driving for less than 15 years passed. A little surprising, perhaps, as they would have taken their test more recently. In contrast, one in five (21%) motorists who have driven for more than 45 years were successful.
Regardless of where you live or how long you’ve been behind the wheel, our survey results emphasize the importance of keeping our road safety knowledge up-to-scratch. In the end, the more clued up we are in regards to the rules of the road, the safer our roads will be.
So, if you’re preparing for your upcoming theory test, or simply want a quick refresh, head over to our learning to drive hub where you’ll find useful advice and information.
Or if you think you could score top marks already, why not give our quiz a go and find out?
So, in conclusion, my argument isn’t exactly right… it looks like that experienced drivers are more knowledgeable than the less experienced – but in my defense that was only 40 people surveyed…
Still, I still stick to my guns and say newer drivers could sometimes be safer than more experienced drivers… complacency you see!
If you agree/disagree with Aviva and the survey results, let us know on social media!
Tell us if YOU are a better driver and why!
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Survey conducted in 2016 by Aviva in conjunction with Zenith Media; asking 1000 drivers 40 questions from the driving theory test