Learning to Drive: The Evidence

  • Published: Department for Transport, Road Safety Research Report, May 2008.
  • Authors: K Emmerson
  • Date Added: 03 Apr 2012
  • Last Update: 12 Jan 2018
  • Format: pdf

Objectives:

This report sets out the evidence on why there is a need to transform the training and testing of drivers, illustrating the Department for Transport and the Driving Standards Agency’s assessment of the current problem.

Methodology:

This report reviews the literature and evidence around learning to drive

Key Findings:

  • The evidence in this report suggests that there fundamental weaknesses with the learning to drive process and how people learn to drive.

  • As a result, many new drivers are ill prepared for safe driving when they pass their practical test and start to drive independently.

  • The evidence has been grouped into three key (but related) issues which reflect the structure of this report:

    • issues with how people are learning to drive – for example, learning is carried out inefficiently;

    • gaps in what people learn during driver training and testing – for example, the driving test focuses too narrowly on vehicle control; and,

    • the ability, attitudes and behaviours of new drivers – for example, new drivers are overconfident and overestimate their own ability; they view the practical test as the end point of the formal learning process.

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