Passing only the

first test

GETTING your driving licence is an exhilarating milestone in life and demonstrates that you are fit to be on the roads.

However, research shows that it certainly doesn't make you a great driver.

A recent study from LV Insurance suggests that drivers who fail their test at the first attempt are less likely to be involved in accidents and when quizzed describe themselves as "cautious behind the wheel". That's a safe attitude to take.

While an earlier study by Continental Tyres covering 6,000 drivers seemed to confirm that drivers who pass on the second or third attempt are better when it comes to driving safely and considerately.

This research reinforces two things to me: When it comes to competent driving, attitude can be as important as ability, and that practical experience shouldn't be underestimated. For these reasons, many companies risk assess their drivers and then train them according to the results

Research by the Institute of Advanced Motorists demonstrated that 70 per cent of drivers receiving further training showed significantly safer skills across a wide range of key driver measurable and it's not difficult to see why.

A 50 year old driver may have passed their test 33 years ago, and during more than three decades behind the wheel without any formal coaching or training, it's easy to pick up a lot of bad habits, both technical and in terms of attitude.

On the second point, the number of years that you have driven for aren't an indicator that you operate in the safest way. In fact, it can make things worse if experience equates to overconfidence.

There's also efficiency to consider.

Vehicles driven in an efficient way can deliver much improved performance in fuel economy and therefore cost savings. New technologies, like electric and hybrid vehicles, must be driven in a certain way to reach their potential and maximise their range. Without some level of formal training, most drivers won't intuitively know how to achieve this.

So while many drivers will dispute that they need to be trained, it never hurts.

A refresher can deliver positive results, and even if you are a good driver, it can still be time well spent.

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