The moment you've all been waiting for

The publication of the TRL study into the new driving test has been published.

How the new car driving test impacts learning to drive, test performance and post-test driving, based on trials held in 2015 and 2016.

The full study can be read here, but some key points are listed below

No difference in post test collision rate

“The two test groups did not differ in their post-test driving exposure, except that those in the revised test group were more likely than those in the existing test group to have used a satnav. In terms of attitudes to risk and confidence, the groups did not differ significantly at six months post-test.

There were no differences in collisions (number, or rate) between the revised and existing test groups. There were familiar patterns in the collision data, with younger age and greater exposure being linked to more collisions. Collision modelling, which held driving exposure and age constant and included the age-matched national comparison group participants directly, showed again that there was no effect of test type on collision risk post-test. A range of factors related to pre- and post-test experience were related to changes in collision risk, but these applied to all groups”

“The final analysis in the study modeled collisions using a base model which controlled both age and exposure and then added other variables to establish which, if any, increased or decreased collision risk. The analysis confirmed that that test type had no statistically significant impact on collision risk”

Slight change in style of training

“A comparison of both trial groups with an age-matched group of participants from non-trial test centers showed that the national comparison group undertook more training with their ADIs than trial participants, were more likely to spend time learning in quiet residential areas and following road signs, and were more likely to spend no time learning on country roads, fast dual carriageways, or when using a satnav. If these differences were due to training bias (and not simply the particular ADIs or test centers in the trial) then it is possible that the revised test has the potential to alter the learning to drive process to a greater extent than shown through the comparisons between the main trial groups”

No change in test difficulty

“The revised test had no noticeable impact on test difficulty, whether measured by self-reported number of attempts before passing or DL25 minor faults.”

Black box policies have increased accident rates!

“The findings that those drivers with a telematics-based insurance policy are reporting more accidents is certainly worthy of further investigation, especially given the claims for safety benefits often made by providers of these policies. While it is possible that collisions under such policies (and work-related collisions) are more likely to be recalled or reported by participants, the very large increase in risk (around 50% in both cases) seems larger than might be explained by memory effects alone in a six month period.”

Leigh Brookes

Author Leigh Brookes

Started Advanced Driving in 1997, Served 13 years as a Police Officer. Response Trainer, Grade A ADI, FDI, member of the ADINJC Governing Committee. Hold all of the RoSPA, IAM and DIA Advanced Driving, training and train the trainer qualifications, as well as an examiner for some of them. Member of the ADINJC, MSA, DIA and GEM and local ADI Asssociation, committee member of local RoSPA and IAM Groups.

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