Fleet News

Learners learn how to pass tests not how to drive

The fact is, that the majority of licensed road users today are only taught how to pass the driving test and not how to drive. Since passing my test (nearly 14 years ago), I have acquired a great deal of driving knowledge and become road savvy, which cannot necessarily be learnt from a book. Personal experiences have made me cautious over the years, but not overly so. I refuse to take chances and believe in treating all road users in a courteous manner, like I would if I was in a queue of people in a shop. You wouldn’t cut in front of someone in this kind of environment if you were in a hurry, because there would be immediate consequences that you would have to face. Driving should encompass more from people, as there is a great deal more at stake.

I personally think it's ridiculous that someone can pass their driving test at 17 then choose not to drive for 20, 30 or 40 years then get in a car and drive legally. I honestly feel that far more accidents would be avoided if people were made to keep their driving skills up to date and re-sit a driving test every 5 years. It is lack of driving skill that causes the problem, not the blind adherence to arbitrary limits.

Personality traits can sometimes overspill into driver behaviour. For example, if you have a driver that repeats their mistakes and is incapable of learning from them, this needs to be effectively managed, as their self-evaluation levels are likely to be high and this may not necessarily reflect the overall risk through online driver risk assessments. Too much emphasis is put on drivers being “Speed freaks” or “Thrill-seekers” and you can’t always expect psychometric testing to pick this up unless analysed in full with a personal knowledge of someone’s attitude towards driving.

Author: Leigh Stiff, Fleet Manager, Hannaford

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  • DTJenkins - 01/07/2010 12:33

    Leigh You should be the next Chief Constable of North wales, or the next Home Secretary. It is sickening that the Government of the day, whoever this is, can allow the carnage on our roads to continue. The pass rate, of our basic test of competence, is around 50%, meaning 50% fail even this test. Taking nerves apart, does this not show the standards of training within the industry? Going back to basics would clearly allow for the drivers who see driving as a sport to be bannished and safer drivers, whatever age, to be rewarded, by keeping their driving licence, not by right, but by safe driving. Doug Jenkins. Motor Fleet Risk Manager, QBE EO Insurance.

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