Archive for the ‘Learner update’ Category

This is an article from the RAC. It highlights why you need to learn to drive and not learn to pass a test:

There were over 300 examiners and learner drivers injured while on driving tests in the UK in 2010, according to new figures.

Data from the Driving Standards Agency, obtained in a freedom of information request by windscreen repair firm Autoglass, showed that five examiners were attacked, while 209 were verbally abused by stressed-out candidates last year.

Over a million dangerous or serious faults were committed by nervous or unprepared learner drivers during car practical driving tests, figures have shown.

The figures from the Driving Standards Agency revealed that 147 major injuries were reported last year where an examiner or candidate needed medical attention from a GP or at hospital.

There were also 192 minor injuries where the victims received basic first aid, treated themselves or did not require treatment.

Poor observation at junctions was revealed to be the main reason why learner drivers fail the test, with 65,988 dangerous and 296,341 serious faults being recorded.

Another common cause of failure was bad use of mirrors, with 32,827 dangerous and 172,945 serious faults reported.

Matthew Mycock, managing director of Autoglass, said: “Driving tests can be stressful occasions but these figures really are quite alarming.

“They beg the very real question of how many candidates are being entered before they are fully prepared.

“Of course people are going to make mistakes during the course of a test. But it is worrying that so many dangerous or serious errors are happening, not only from the point of view of candidates and examiners but also other road users and pedestrians.”

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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Electronic parking brakes suitable for tests

• Vehicles with electronic parking brakes can be used for tests
• Change from 1 November 2010
• DSA responds to advances in vehicle technology
From 1 November vehicles fitted with an electronic parking brake will be allowed to be used for practical driving tests.
There are usually two ways of releasing an electronic parking brake:
• using the footbrake while releasing the parking brake, then coordinating the accelerator and clutch to move away
• coordinating the accelerator and clutch – when the electronics sense the clutch is at biting point the parking brake releases automatically
The parking brake will not usually release automatically if:
• the accelerator is not used
• the controls are not coordinated correctly
If there is no loss of control either method is acceptable.
If the examiner needs to take action to stop the vehicle, and it’s not fitted with dual controls, they will apply and hold the electronic parking brake – this will bring the vehicle to a controlled stop.
Advances in technology
To begin with, electronic parking brakes were fitted only to top of the range vehicles. DSA decided not to allow manual vehicles fitted with them to be used for driving tests.
Electronic parking brakes are now being fitted to an increasing number of vehicles, so it’s unrealistic to continue this policy.

NEW driving test info

Posted: August 20, 2010 in Learner update
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As from the 4th of October 2010 the UK practical driving test will see two significant changes. The objective for one of these changes is primarily to assess the independent driving skills of the test candidate without any prompting from the examiner.

The test will be carried out as normal where you will be asked to read a number plate from a distance of 67 feet; perform `show me tell me` in relation to your car`s safety/maintenance; and preparation prior to moving away safely. Throughout the early stages of the test you will receive instructions as normal from the examiner such as, `at the next roundabout take the second exit or, at the end of the road turn right.` There will be no changes up to this point.

The first of the two changes will require the learner to undertake only one manoeuvre instead of two which could be either reversing left around a corner or a turn in the road. Prior to this, the examiner will ask you to park on a number of occasions before the manoeuvre is carried out. In any event the learner should be proficient at all four of the manoeuvres. Once this has been accomplished, the second change is all about unprompted independent driving and is aimed at testing your ability to drive to a destination without any enroute instructions from the examiner. This has been termed as a `real life` driving session. Again it`s all about practice and your driving instructor will have you well prepared for this, after all, part of your training is to observe and follow road signs, junctions ahead and know when to apply signals.

To begin with, you will receive, for example, instructions to drive to the town centre by following directional signs, or before moving away you will be given a series of verbal instructions that will be backed up with a visual aid such as a computer generated drawing indicating where you will be required to take the necessary turns in order to arrive at the destination. The objective, whichever instruction you receive, is to assess your ability to drive to a destination without being told what to do along the way and to determine whether you are able to observe, navigate and drive safely all at the same time without being guided. Should the visual aid be provided for this test and you get your directions wrong, the DSA has stated that you will not be penalised provided that safety has not been compromised.

The duration of the unprompted test will be about ten minutes, bringing the total time of the test to thirty eight to forty minutes.

Some learners may be terrified at this change, but it is reflective of real driving conditions. After all, once you have passed your test, you won`t be expecting anyone to give you instructions to drive around to find used cars for sale! You will be quite capable of doing this all by yourself without being told where to turn and where to stop.

If you are looking to take your Driving Test are you are based in Cheltenham, Evesham or Tewkesbury call us FREE on 0800 090 1614 and we will be only too happy to discuss your needs and get you on the road!