The New Driving Test
Introduced on December 4th 2017 the new driving test is now firmly established so we here at Driving Advisor thought we would go over the main changes now the dust has settled to give you our views.
20 minutes independent driving/ Sat Nav
Introducing the use of Sat Nav was the main talking point of the proposed changes, having never been used on driving tests before but rapidly become a daily activity among new drivers we welcomed the introduction.
Feedback from our driving instructors shows that it has been readily accepted by the learners and it really does give the chance for the instructor to fully assess an “independent” drive from the pupil in that it has no instructor intervention.
Main points that have been noted is that sometimes in complex multilane situations the Sat Nav can have trouble giving the instructions early enough for the pupil to have time to react, examiners in general seem to be aware of the areas the Sat Nav could have trouble and are stepping in with some verbal assistance we have been told. Another point on this subject is to have frequent glances at the Sat Nav screen to enable further planning in plenty of time, but don’t over do it and get distracted!
In general we think are good move to have it introduced.
The New Manoeuvre’s
Two new manoeuvre’s were introduced to the test in form of Forward Bay Parking and Moving off from the Right side of the road, with Turn in The Road and Left Reverse being dropped
Firstly Forward Bay Parking has proved a big hit with learners in general it seems. An essential daily exercise carried out in most car parks makes the driving test now seem much more appropriate to everyday driving. Main areas pupils are finding tricky are doing it too fast with too slow a steering action, resulting in the car not ending up straight in the bay. Both problems are easily rectified and we again welcome this addition to the driving test.
Moving off from the right side of the road has received some bad feedback due to some early incidents being highlighted on Social Media but now things have settled down it appears to be generally accepted.
A point has been noted that pupils once instructed to move over to the right are leaving the move over rather late, this can result in the front end of the car being in a good position but the back end pointing out into the road which can lead to the car moving out into the road when reversed back the required two car lengths, taking the car over to the right side early will allow enough time for the back end to be brought in due to the back wheels not being steered.
Another point noted is the forward observations which if the exercise is carried out from behind a van can be tricky, again like the forward park good slow car speed control skills can help the pupil make more effective observations.
In general a challenging addition to the driving test which in general isn’t carried out too often in everyday driving but is good to be prepared for and we think is a bargain trade off for ommiting the left reverse exercise!!
Show tell on move
Being asked to perform a Show Me how to do something task whilst driving really does make the driving test now a good test of everyday driving!
Instructors have found that initially pupils tend to look for the items mentioned which had been resulting in some loss of steering control but once the item locations in particular the rear windscreen demister location has become familiar then these tasks are carried out with ease and again show the examiner real everyday tasks being carried out successfully.
In general we think the additions are welcome changes to an outdated test which should result in new drivers being much better prepared for modern driving.