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16th November 2017, Given the chance to retake their driving theory test, 99% of UK licence holders would fail, according to new survey data from airport transfers company hoppa.
Ahead of Road Safety Week, an initiative by road safety charity Brake which runs from 20-26 November, hoppa wanted to find out how people would score with a condensed version of the official theory test. Hoppa surveyed 1,000 licence holders across the UK with 15 multiple choice questions.
The survey results showed an average result of just 42%, a long way off the 86% required to pass the real thing. The lowest scoring question, of which only 19% answered correctly, was related to stopping distances on wet roads.
In line with the DVSA official theory test pass rate, which requires 43 out of 50 correct answers (86%), survey respondents were required to answer 13 out of 15 questions correctly. Only eight respondents answered 13 or more questions correctly. Londoners fared the worst, with an average score of just 5 out of 15. It would seem those aged 55+ are the most clued up on the Highway Code, scoring the highest overall.
Thankfully, the UK is clued up on the residential speed limit, with 82% of respondents answering correctly with 30mph. When it comes to driving in wet conditions, however, the results leave little to be desired. Only one in five respondents answered correctly when asked what the time gap should be between them and the vehicle in front.
The driving theory test pass rate has decreased by 25% in the last nine years. In 2008, 65% of those who took the driving test passed, compared to just 49% in 2017.
Renaldo Scheepers, CEO at hoppa, commented on the survey findings: “It’s concerning to see that so many of us drivers would fail the theory test if we were to retake it today. There’s 32 million licence holders on UK roads, so we really ought to get clued up. Initiatives like Road Safety Week are great for raising awareness, which is why we’ve decided to donate 10p from every transaction to road safety charity Brake from 20-26 November.”
A spokesperson on roads policy from RAC commented on the findings: “Most drivers are law-abiding citizens, however, there is no harm in keeping yourself familiar with what is in the Highway Code. We’d always recommend that if drivers see signs or road layouts they are not familiar with, they should have a look at a copy of the Highway Code either in print or online. The theory test has evolved over the years and will continue to play a big part in making our roads safer.”
RAC’s top tips for winter driving:
• Before driving in heavy rain, try to fill up with fuel before you travel, as getting stuck in traffic will increase your fuel consumption - remember, with the lights, heater and wipers switched on, your fuel economy will be reduced even further.
• Use your fog lights if visibility is reduced to 100 metres (328 feet) or roughly the length of a football pitch. If while driving in fog your car is involved in an accident and you weren't using your fog lights, it could invalidate your insurance.
• Braking distances can increase tenfold on ice compared with a dry road. For this reason, you should leave up to 10 times the normal recommended gap between you and the car in front.
• In windy weather driving past large vehicles can result in a sudden gust from the side as you clear, so be prepared for this change in how the vehicle may respond and do not attempt the manoeuvre unless you are certain it is safe.
• To demist your car quickly, use the air-con (if you have it) in conjunction with the heater. Hot air will dry the glass a little through evaporation, but the air-con will keep the atmosphere dry.
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