The DVSA recently ran a webinar focusing on the top 10 faults that are recorded on driving tests. Many of the commonly recorded faults in driving tests are also top contributory factors in reported collisions. This is why they are assessed and prioritised on test.

Nearly 600 ADIs took part, with plenty of discussion and questions.

More than 96% of those who filled in the post-webinar survey recommend that you watch it back.

Link to road safety

Many of the commonly recorded faults in driving tests are top contributory factors in reported collisions. To help improve road safety, we need to make sure that learner drivers are ully prepared and aware of potential issues.

Failing to look properly was a contributory factor in 35% of all collisions in 2021 – and it was a factor in 343 fatal collisions.

Understanding the reasons behind these can help. It means you can more effectively assess if your pupils have the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to be safe when they’ve passed their test.

Perhaps most importantly, they give you a great way of exploring factors with your pupils. Digging into your pupils’ understanding of risk can give you a much better sense of their thoughts, feelings and beliefs. From this you can work on action plans and structuring learning to correct potentially dangerous attitudes and faults.

Human psychology

The way people think about driving and the way they feel when they come to drive are the ‘human factors’ in driver safety. Six of the main human factors that can affect driving performance are:

  1. How your pupils process information – how do their brains and eyes work while they’re driving?
  2. Your pupils’ ‘mental landscape’ – how do their thoughts and feelings affect their driving decisions?
  3. Risk perception – how do your pupils assess road risk and how is this affected by their beliefs about what might happen?
  4. Confidence – how do your pupils’ beliefs in their ability and skills influence their driving decisions and risk taking?
  5. Personality – how do your pupils’ thrill-seeking tendencies influence the way they drive?
  6. Stress, mood and emotions – how do your pupils’ feelings, including nervousness, affect their ability to drive safely?

There are obviously other influences on someone’s driving. These include things like:

  • how your pupils deal with distractions
  • fatigue (feeling tired, sleepy or lacking in energy)
  • alcohol and drugs (we tend to think of drug-driving just in terms of illegal drugs, but many prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines can have equally detrimental effects on driving performance)
  • in-vehicle technology
  • the road environment

The Official DVSA Guide to Better Driving may help you dig deeper into all aspect of understanding and training

The Official DVSA Guide to Better Driving. Use code ADI1 to get 35% off when you order from the Safe Driving for Life website.

Using different questioning techniques to explore factors

You might want to use probing questions to explore these factors with your pupils.

For example, you could start by asking “Why do you think people fail to look properly at junctions?” And then start probing into any factors your pupil mentions with questions such as “Why do you say that?”.

You could use clarifying questions such as “If I’ve understood you correctly, are you saying that…” if your pupil’s answer is not clear. This is also a good way to reassure them that you’re listening.

You could then go on to introduce other factors and influences they do not mention to see what they think and feel about those.

Watch the webinar recording

You can now watch the recording of the webinar. It includes an explanation of each of the top 10 faults, and a question and answer session.

Navigation is made easier by the use of timestamps in the video description.

You can select a relevant timestamp to jump to a particular fault, or to go to the question and answer session.

If you have any questions you can ask them in the comments section. This will be monitored and answered by the DVSA.

DVSA driving product owner, Amanda Lane has also created a Blog. In it, she explains why it’s so important to look back at the top 10 faults and how the insight can be invaluable for your pupils.

Read the full blog post on Despatch.