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My Dad passed in 10 hours. That's what I frequently get told when I mention what the average number of hours taken to pass the practical driving test. Its widely publicised that 47 hours plus plenty of private practice is what learner drivers are taking before passing their driving test. Is it possible to pass in 10 hours?

In theory yes. Its possible. The reality is under todays driving conditions for someone with no experience whatsoever its near impossible. It would take 10 hours alone just to understand the controls of the vehicle. So what has happened? Lets look at a few key changes. 1. In 1970 there were approximately 13million vehicle on the road. In 2021 there were close to 40million. This is a huge difference in the number of people using the roads networks. One of the reasons the driving test changed to 1 reverse exercise was because it was getting harder and harder to find places to reverse. 2. In 2003 The Show Me Tell Me questions were first introduced. Whilst the questions were unlikely to mean someone failed their driving test, they put added pressure on students to learn something else during their lessons. 3. In 2004 the Hazard Perception test was introduced. Arguably this may have had an impact in road safety as learner drivers took hazard awareness a little more seriously. There is no evidence to back this up. 4. In 2010 the introduction of Independent driving took place.

5. In 2007 the number of theory test questions increased from 35 to 50, and the pass mark is 43 out of 50. 6. 2011 case studies were introduced to the theory test. 7. In 2017 we saw the introduction of the Sav Nav among other changes which removed the Turn in the Road and included the Reverse Right. Following a Sat Nav is about a close you can get to a distraction in driving without being illegal. For many students this is actually a very hard task. When you consider the complexities of road and traffic conditions you can begin to see why it has become harder to pass the driving test. I also feel learner drivers pay less attention to vehicles. Its easy with any problem to drop a vehicle at the garage, so why would you even understand why the brakes are making a noise. Or the steering became heavy. There are so many in-car distractions that mean children don't look at what is actually happening on the roads and how they are managed.

From my experience that connection seems to have been lost where by if you now have a generation of vehicle drivers who pay little attention to their cars, then there is no passing down of skills which involved opening bonnets or checking tyres. Its all done at the garage. You then need to consider whether driving standards have improved. Its very possible that younger drivers are learning from their family and friends before they even sit in the vehicle. These traits will filter down through the generations and mean that if you are a bad driver, your children are also likely to be bad drivers. They have at least 17 years of watching how not to do things.

Driving Standards have dropped

I think many people will agree when I say that driving standards have dropped. This means that learners drivers not only need to allow for their own mistakes but that of many others drivers. This could be said of any typical day out on the road but when you consider someone does not have the skills and reactions to deal with changes quickly its easy to see why you would not pass in 10 hours.


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