Studies reveal who our safest drivers are
Passing your driving test first time might be a humble brag among friends and family, but does it make you a better driver?
According to the Department for Transport, 50 per cent of male drivers and 42.8 per cent of female drivers who took their practical driving test during 2019/20 passed on the first attempt.
The number increases slightly on the next attempt, with 50.6 per cent of male second timers and 44.1 per cent of females passing their driving test the second time around. The figures then highlight that 50 per cent of male drivers and 43.3 per cent of females taking their third test passed on that attempt.
So, with stats suggesting you have a pretty equal chance of passing your test on either the first, second or third attempt, do the number of driving tests you take affect the quality of your driving?
Does taking fewer driving tests prove that you are a better driver? Or, do the extra training hours of someone who requires more driving tests actually improve their driving skill overall? Let's find out...
Am I a better driver for passing first time?
While it is a badge of honour for many, being a better driver because you passed on the first attempt is not necessarily a given.
A study conducted by Ingenie suggests that drivers that are first-time passers can become too confident following their early success. It is claimed that they may not drive as safely when compared to those who required multiple attempts.
After studying driver habits using black box data, they discovered that those who took four attempts to pass their test became safer drivers than those who passed on the first go. They believe that learners who failed first time and spent more time practising their driving techniques alongside an instructor go on to become better drivers over time.
They said, "Confidence behind the wheel is great – but over-confidence is thought to be the cause of a large percentage of car accidents, particularly with young drivers. The research shows that the longer you spend behind the wheel, the better driver you become, which means – whether you pass your test first-time or the second, third or fourth time – it’s up to you to be the safest driver that you can be."
For learner and new drivers, there is a fine line between confidence and caution. Being overly cautious is among the top reasons why drivers fail their practical test, with over confidence increasing the risk of collision.