When it comes to driving, motorists must ‘use it or lose it’, research has revealed.
A recent opinion poll of more than 1,000 UK drivers found that more than half (53%) know someone who they think needs to retake their driving test, with a quarter (26%) thinking that we should all have to retake our tests every decade.
More men (58%) than women (50%) know someone who they think would be a safer driver if they were to retake their test, however most drivers aged over 45 disagree, saying they don’t know anyone who needs to retake (56%). On the other hand, nearly three quarters (71%) of 18-24 year olds admit that they do.
Currently, there is no UK law that requires drivers to retake lessons and/or their driving test after taking time away from the wheel. In light of this, Euro Car Parts partnered with the TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) and re-tested three drivers on their driving skills under different conditions. The test found that when it comes to driving, motorists need to regularly drive or risk their driving skills deteriorating to the level of a novice driver.
Using vehicle simulation technology, the TRL tested the driving skills of three motorists to see if driving ability reduces without regular practice. The research tested awareness, response time, and driving accuracy in normal and distracted driving conditions.
- Participant A: non-driver (has not driven in eight years, but still holds a full licence)
- Participant B: occasional driver (drives three – four times a year)
- Participant C: regular driver (drives two – three times a week)
Participant A performed the worst across awareness, response time and driving accuracy in both normal and distracted driving simulations. The increase in mistakes was also steeper between normal and distracted conditions for Participant A than both B and C.
Participant C was the ‘best’ driver across all measurements in normal driving conditions, however Participant B outperformed Participant C in accuracy and awareness in the distracted driving scenario.