FAQ about Some Common Misconceptions

Myth 1
The minimum age for driving lessons will soon rise to 18.

This story has been going round for years! There are no plans to raise the age for learning to drive.

What would happen to driving instructors and examiners if the largest part of our market disappeared for the 12 months it takes you to get to 18?

Myth 2
The driving test examiners only pass a certain number of people per day.

This is false. Everyone whose driving is good enough passes.
A lady examiner once said to me that Driving Examiners would much rather say ‘I am pleased to tell you, you have passed your driving test.’  There is less paperwork for them! It is much nicer to leave you happy than sad.

Myth 3
It’s best to take the driving test at the beginning of the day/week/month in case they have already passed enough people.

False. See above. If your driving is good enough, you pass.
In addition the test routes are so planned that they are all almost identical.  I could say that a pupil may get a ‘lucky’ test in that he or she did not encounter as much traffic as could be expected and that everything flowed for him or her. You should be able to cope with whatever chance throws your way.

Myth 4
Men are better drivers

Neither men nor women are perfect drivers. As a generalisation women are more careful and anticipate danger better, men are better able to manoeuvre the car.
Women tend to have more scrapes in the supermarket( but is that because it is women who tend to do the shopping?) Men’s’ accidents tend to be more serious.

Myth 5
Old people have more accidents than young people.

Statistically 17 -25 year olds have more accidents than any other age group
There is a lot of science behind this, which I will explain when we meet.

Myth 6
Most people only need a few driving lessons to pass their test.

The DSA have stated that it takes most people 2 hours of driving lessons with a qualified driving instructor for every year of their life. Latest DSA statistics show that the average time for a teenager is about 45 lessons and an extra 22 hours private practice.
Some will do more, and some will do less.

Tom’s friend said, after he (Tom) failed his test after taking a few (5) lessons from his father ‘Driving has to be learnt, it is not something that you just pick up mate. You need to get proper lessons’.

Myth 7
People who have just passed their test are better drivers than older people

People who have just passed their test are in fact more likely to have an accident.

This is because you have such limited experience of driving and  not have enough of a database or experience to cope well with an unfamiliar situation. Young people will have faster reactions, in terms of immediate danger, eg a burn, a dog bite, but you will generally be slower to recognise a traffic problem. The older person has more experience and can recognise and avoid the problem.

Myth 8
Driving Schools make you take more lessons than you really need.

Not so. The main cause of people failing their test is because they taking it before they are ready, usually meaning they needed more lessons anyway.
Gemma said , ‘better a few too many lessons than too many tests’ . The test is currently £62.00 and add to that the time for the instructors car.

Myth 9
The Theory Test is just commonsense

Some answers may involve common sense or general knowledge but not most of them. For instance common sense won’t tell you that the minimum tyre tread depth for cars is 1.6mm. The only way you’ll know that is by learning it!

Kirstine said, ‘ I didn’t really look at it, I thought I could just go up and do it.’ (to be fair she did not fail that disastrously but a few hours of study would have nailed it.)

Myth 10

 Intensive or crash courses guarantee you will pass

No one can guarantee a pass! Intensive driving courses work well for some people, less well for others. Some driving schools will pay for your retest if you fail first time, but they cannot guarantee a pass!

I have found a lot of people to be quite tired after a two hour lesson. I had a teenage boy, Lee (17) who wanted to do 5 hours a day, three in the morning and two late afternoon, after work. We had to call it off by Tuesday, he was almost asleep by 4.15 pm.

Sometimes intensive courses are shared with another pupil, do you really want someone else seeing your mistakes?


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