Twenty-five years since the introduction of the UKâ€™s driving theory test, Aviva has scrutinised the nationâ€™s motoring habits in a new study.
The insurer interviewed more than 1,400 UK drivers about their driving skills and bad motoring behaviours, to support the launch of two handy online tools which allow people to check when their vehiclesâ€™Â road taxÂ andÂ MOTÂ are due.
The research discovered four out of five drivers (82%) are confident in their knowledge of the Highway Code, rating it as â€œgoodâ€ or â€œvery goodâ€. Men are more likely than women to sign up to this view, accounting for 86%Â of male drivers and 77% of female drivers.
More than half (56%) of drivers believe they would pass theÂ driving theory testÂ if they took it today.Â This figure decreases in line with the length of time people have held their licences, which is perhaps unsurprising, given that many older drivers wouldnâ€™t have taken a theory test before it was introduced in the UK on 1 July 1996. Interestingly, a third of non-drivers (33%) also believe they would pass.
Motorists are generally more confident about their practical abilities. More than three quarters (78%) of drivers feel they would pass theirÂ practical driving testÂ if they sat it again today. Again, there are a number of confident non-drivers: more than a quarter (26%) of non-drivers think they would pass.
However, in spite of being self-assured about their skills, many drivers also admit to offences â€“ even if they didnâ€™t always get caught!
Two fifths (42%) of drivers questioned said they had committed motoring offences which resulted in penalty points, a fine or ticket, a driving ban or a prison sentence.
Many more motorists own up to offences and poor driving habits for which they werenâ€™t charged, as the table below reveals:
|Motoring offence / behaviour||Percentage of drivers questioned who were charged for this offence||Percentage of drivers questioned who admitted to this offence but werenâ€™t charged with it|
|Drink / drug driving||5%||5%|
|Jumping a red light||5%||16%|
|Using horn while stationery||3%||14%|
|Parking across more than one space||3%||11%|
|Parking on wrong side of the road at night||3%||13%|
|Driving without a valid MOT||3%||7%|
|Holding phone / sat-nav while driving||2%||18%|
|Driving without screen-wash||2%||16%|
|Driving without tax||2%||6%|
|Driving with snow on the car||2%||30%|
The research reveals that one motorist in 10 has driven without an MOT and 8% have driven without tax. However, in many cases drivers claim that this was due to an oversight or because of confusion about the rules.
The majority of people who have driven without an MOT (54%) forgot that it was due, while 18% failed to take their car to the garage on the right day.
Similarly, forgetting to renew tax is the main reason for driving without it (36%), although 24% said they needed to sort something else out on the day their tax was due. More than a quarter (28%) of people who had vehicles exempt from tax charges, didnâ€™t realise that they still needed to tax them.
Less than half (45%) of drivers know the exact date of their next MOT and a similar number (47%) of drivers know exactly when their tax is due.
To assist drivers, Aviva has launched a set of new online tools, to allow people to check when their vehiclesâ€™Â road taxÂ andÂ MOTÂ are due for renewal. People just need to type in their vehicle registration numbers and the tools will tell users their renewal dates.
Sarah Applegate, Data Science Lead for Aviva says:Â â€œMotoring brings with it a wealth of responsibilities, from knowing the Highway Code to making sure a vehicle is roadworthy, to checking that paperwork is up to date.
â€œWith people living such busy lives, itâ€™s easy for important things like mots and tax renewals to slip their minds. Our new tools can help people to get organised, giving them one less thing to worry about and helping them to follow the rules of the road.â€
*Article Source www.aviva.co.uk