Report 1 - Are you ready to drive?

Report 1 - Are you ready to drive?Published 2009

This report suggests high levels of support for big changes to the way we train and test novice drivers – perhaps unsurprising given that young, inexperienced drivers are involved in such a huge proportion of road deaths and injuries. Brake argues that the horrifying number of fatal and serious crashes that involve young drivers is testament to the fact that our current tuition and testing system isn't adequate in fully preparing young people for independent driving.

The report also reveals widespread complacency among drivers about simple steps we should all take to make sure we're 'ready to drive'. The vast majority aren't keeping up to date with the Highway Code, and most are failing to carry out essential maintenance checks regularly on their vehicle, meaning they could be taking to the road in a death trap. It's apparent in some cases, that it's misunderstanding that's holding drivers back from taking basic safety precautions. Most people don't know how to position their head restraint to guard against whiplash, demonstrating the need for more education and high profile awareness campaigns on key road safety topics.

Main findings:

  • More than six in 10 (62%) agreed that learner drivers should have to have a minimum number of hours of supervised driving, and eight in 10 (81%) said young drivers should have restrictions on their driving after passing their test
  • Nine in 10 drivers (91%) support regular eyesight tests for drivers at least every 10 years
  • Two-thirds (66%) don't know the correct height for your head restraint to help prevent whiplash
  • Less than a quarter of drivers (23%) check their tyres at least once a fortnight, and less than a fifth (19%) check oil and water at least once a fortnight

Press releases from this report:

Most drivers support compulsory eyesight testing, 31 March 2011
Drivers scarily complacent about vehicle maintenance, 15 January 2010
You'd be off your head not to check your head restraint, 28 August 2009
Drivers support tougher driving tests, 8 July 2009

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