Lockdown creates learner driver backlog
A recent poll of FirstCar’s readers showed that over half of those learning to drive stayed off the roads during lockdown, even shunning private practice with parents
Whilst a small number admitted to seizing the opportunity to get more road miles under their belt, the vast majority told us that they either had no access to a supervising driver, or that they weren’t sure whether they were allowed to be on the roads because it would be classed as ‘non-essential travel’.
With many road safety organisations calling on all drivers to stay off the roads where possible and reduce the potential burden on the emergency services, it’s likely that the sharp reduction in the number of learners out with their parents is down to pure common sense. James Evans, Founder of FirstCar says “With driving instructors off the roads, there was a clear opportunity for parents to head out with learners and help them practice the skills they’d been learning during formal lessons. However, we’re pleased to see that so many people took a common sense approach and heeded the legislation and government advice to stay at home.”
Of those who had continued to drive with their parents, only 20% said that they had been doing more practice miles than before lockdown. However, they admitted it might not have achieved the desired results, with two-thirds reporting that they felt the practice time had little or no effect on improving their driving skills. And there wasn’t much to suggest this extra time on the road improved bonding either, with almost 70% saying they’d enjoyed this practice time with parents about the same, or even slightly less than they’d expected.
Although the backlog of learners who might have otherwise passed their test by now could be as high as 200,000 the good news is that driving instructors are back to work in England (Wales have announced their return, with Scotland and NI hopefully to follow) over three-quarters of respondents told FirstCar that they would be taking even more lessons with their instructor before booking their driving test. So whilst it might take some time before those test-ready learners can rip up their L-plates, this survey shows we have a generation of socially responsible drivers who aren’t rushing to pass before they are ready.
For more information visit FirstCar.co.uk