6.9 million British drivers think that if they had to take their driving test again, they would be likely to fail.
New research shows that one in five qualified drivers (18 per cent), said they doubted their current driving skills would get them past an examiner – a figure which increased with age to peak at 24 per cent of over 65s.
The study conducted by Young Driver, which provides driving lessons for 10-17 year olds, questioned more than 1,000 UK drivers on skills relating to some of the best-known driving manoeuvres.
Twenty eight per cent of drivers said they struggled to parallel park, with a further one in four (25 per cent), admitting that reversing into a parking bay was a challenge they preferred to avoid. For female drivers these figures increased to 36 and 30 per cent respectively.
Worryingly, a quarter of all drivers (26 per cent) said they regularly parked some distance from where they needed to be in order to get an ‘easier’ car parking space which didn’t require as much skill. One in six drivers (16 per cent) admitted they often felt nervous when it came to parking – rising to one in four (26 per cent) 18-25 year olds.
And it seems it’s not just parking which causes issues – one in six (16 per cent) admitted they struggle to complete a turn in the road without needing to undertake significantly more manoeuvres than the traditional three point turn.
Young Driver, the UK’s largest provider of pre-17 driving lessons, has produced a series of ‘How To’ videos to help drivers master everything from parallel parking to reversing round a corner. And although they were produced for the 10-17 year olds Young Driver teaches, the group’s research shows they are just as useful for parents needing a refresher too.
Kim Stanton, head of Young Driver, said: “When you learn to drive you are taught specific techniques to help you get your parking and reversing spot on, every time. But once you pass your test, unless you continue to use these techniques, the skills can quickly fade. Our new research shows that before long, many drivers are actively avoiding having to try, even if it means parking a long way from their destination and walking the rest of the way to avoid certain parking spaces!
“We produced a selection of ‘how to’ videos to help our pupils, who range in ages from 10 to 17, by giving them a chance to study the key techniques online before and after their lessons. But it seems our new video training might be handy for mums and dads too, with many current drivers needing to brush up their skills! Tricky parking spots can often be avoided, but what about when it comes to life and death situations such as emergency stops? Many of us say we can’t remember the last time we had to perform one in real life – which is obviously a good thing – but are we confident we could do it correctly if the need arose?”