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Half of drivers think new practical test should include cyclist awareness

New driving test comes into force in December, but many think it's a missed opportunity...

One in three drivers do not think proposed changes to the UK driving test, to be brought in at the end of the year, go far enough.

The practical test is having an overhaul on 4th December 2017, but 33 per cent of motorists feel it could go further to promote road safety.

The Government hopes to make the practical test more up to date and reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on UK roads.

This is especially aimed at those between the ages of 15 and 19 of whom a quarter of deaths are caused by road collisions.

And two in five claim that poor driving is caused by new motorists who have not been taught necessary road skills, according to a new survey.

Changes to the driving test, December 2017
  •  Reversing around a corner -  Removed
  •  Turn in the road (three point turn) - Removed
  •  Increasing independent driving to 20 minutes -  Added
  •  Following directions from a sat nav -  Added   
  •  Answering vehicle safety questions while driving  - Added   
  •  Pulling up on the right-hand side of the road and reversing two car lengths - Added
  •  Reversing out of a parking bay - Added

But the research from Confused.com reveals the planned changes have been met with a mixed response from drivers.

Drivers claim learners would also benefit from getting to grips improved cyclist awareness (49%), motorcyclist awareness (44%), and more experience with urban driving (29%) and rural driving (28%).

And according to drivers, teachings should include mobile phone use (60%), roundabout (57%) and indicating etiquette (52%), and cutting in from a closed lane (48%).

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: “We hope that the new test will help new drivers to adapt to the modern conditions of our roads, especially through the independent driving task and using a sat nav.

“To make the roads safer, drivers believe more practical changes should have been included in the new updates set to be implemented in December. To help improve the quality of driving on our roads, there is a valid argument that new drivers should be taught general road etiquette and how to treat fellow drivers. This could help to minimise stress levels, road rage, and the risk of accidents, providing all drivers an easy ride.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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