Nervous new drivers avoiding ‘routine’ driving situations

New research shows one in three avoid parallel parking whilst one in five drive out of their way to avoid tricky junctions or roundabouts

When they first pass their driving test, new motorists are going miles out of their way to avoid driving situations they don’t feel comfortable with, according to new research.

The research, which questioned 1,000 UK drivers on behalf of pre-17 driving school Young Driver, revealed that in some situations, more than a third of newly qualified motorists actively avoid having to perform manoeuvres or tackle roads they aren’t comfortable with.

According to the research, parking was the area where new drivers lacked most confidence. One in three new drivers (36 per cent) admitted they went out of their way to avoid having to parallel park, with one in four (27 per cent) choosing to park miles away from other cars so they didn’t have to risk reverse parking into an enclosed space.

A further third of newly qualified drivers (30 per cent) admitted they avoid the outside lane on either dual carriageways or motorways whenever possible, because it made them nervous. One in five (22 per cent) said they would happily go out of their way so they didn’t have to tackle a junction or roundabout they found difficult, and the same number said they made sure routes circumvented any steep hills, which might call for a hill start.

One in 10 drivers went so far as to say they would prefer it if the cars they drove once they passed their test continued to have dual controls, so they felt reassured their passenger could help out if needed.

Sue Waterfield, head of marketing for Young Driver, which provides driving lessons for 10 to 17 year olds, said: “It seems the UK’s drivers are passing their test and still feeling extremely nervous about many of the quite routine manoeuvres and situations you face on the roads. However, it’s understandable given the average learner only has 40 to 50 hours of driving before they pass their test*. It’s very much why Young Driver was developed – it stands to reason that the more experience young people have behind the wheel, the better a driver they will be – and the more ‘automatic’ those basic skills become. Our pupils usually start learning to reverse park from their very first lesson!”

Young Driver lessons take place on private property, in a dual control car with a fully qualified instructor and follow a similar format to those taken at 17. A whole road system is created, complete with roundabouts, junctions, car parks and traffic lights, and young people are encouraged to take their time getting to grips with how to drive, without any pressure to pass a test as quickly as possible. Research shows that learning to drive at an earlier age can half the accident rate in the first six months after passing their test. Young Driver is the UK’s largest provider of pre-17 driving tuition and has given more than 740,000 lessons at 65 different venues across the country.

According to Young Driver’s research, the top five things newly qualified drivers try to avoid when behind the wheel are:

Parallel parking

The outside lane on dual carriageways/motorways

Reverse parking into an enclosed space

Steep hills which might require a hill start

‘Tricky’ junctions or roundabout

*Article Source http://www.youngdriver.com / Newspress

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