A recent survey carried out by Young Drivers; a Pre-17 driving school, revealed that out of 1,000 drivers questioned, more than a third of newly qualified drivers avoid performing particular manoeuvres or roads they aren’t comfortable with. The research indicated that the top five things newly qualified drivers try and avoid when behind the wheel are:
- Parallel parking
- Driving in the outside lane on dual carriageways/motorways
- Reverse parking into an enclosed space
- Steep hills that may require a hill start
- Tricky junctions or roundabouts
Research revealed that the biggest stress-inducer was parking and out of the 1,000 young drivers questioned, 36 per cent revealed that they avoid parallel parking, while one in four stated they would rather park further away from other cars than have to reverse park into a tight space.
Another area where newly qualified drivers lacked confidence was driving on dual carriageways and motorways, with 30 per cent of drivers admitting that they avoid using the outside lane wherever possible because it made them nervous. For drivers that passed their driving test before June 2018 it is easy to see why they would be apprehensive when it comes to driving on a motorway. Previously only drivers who had passed their test could do so and, while it still remains illegal for a provisional licence holder to drive on a motorway, lessons are now allowed in a dual-controlled car with an approved driving instructor for learners, however, this will be down to the instructor’s discretion to decide if and when a student is ready.
The research also showed that one in five went on to state that they actively go out of their way to avoid tricky junctions or roundabouts that they have difficulty with. The same number also revealed that when planning a route, they would be sure to avoid any steep hills that may require a hill start.
Finally, one in ten even went so far as to admit that they would prefer to have their own cars fitted with dual controls once they had passed their test, as it gave them reassurance that their passenger could help out should they need to.
So why are new drivers feeling so nervous behind the wheel? On average it takes around 45 hours of lessons to learn to drive and an additional 22 hours of practising according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), so it’s hardly surprising that newly qualified motorists feel nervous. The phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ springs to mind and if you ask any driver they will tell you that becoming familiar with routine manoeuvres and anticipating situations on the road is something that comes with time and practice. For newly qualified drivers that are looking to improve their skills or want to feel more confident on the road then there are advanced driving courses available from IAM RoadSmart or the Pass Plus Scheme.
Being a new driver can be a daunting experience and while an average of 60-ish hours of learning to drive will give you the gist of things, becoming a good driver is something that is learnt over time by constantly improving your skills.
Are you a newly qualified driver? Are you guilty of avoiding any of the manoeuvres and driving situations mentioned? Let us know via our social media channels.
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