Teach schoolchildren the rules of the road

Driving skills classes should be taught in school to 15-year-olds.

Monday, 4th July 2016, 8:54 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:45 pm
PIC: James Hardisty

That’s the verdict from a young driver insurance brand after a social experiment on experienced drivers saw them flunk their theory test.

ingenie is calling for schools to teach children hazard perception. It follows the results of a mock exam to see if experienced drivers could pass their theory, hazard perception and driving test – 20 years after passing.

A 45-year-old woman and a 51-year old man were tested and they failed their theory and hazard perception tests quite spectacularly. ingenie believes training, specifically for hazard perception, could be significantly improved if it was introduced at an earlier age.

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The hazard perception part of the driving test was only introduced in 2002, meaning neither of the test subjects had been assessed on risk awareness. Despite the two drivers having almost 55 years of driving experience between them, both drivers failed the practical test with over five major faults – most commonly, for errors in observation and hazard awareness.

The introduction of the hazard perception test is credited with an 11 per cent decrease in new driver crashes, showing that these skills are incredibly important for road safety.

ingenie is pushing for schools to introduce this training so potential drivers can get a head start on the skills they need to be safe drivers for life.

Richard King, ingenie’s chief executive officer said: “We know that the frontal cortex of the brain, the part that processes hazard perception and risk, is often not fully developed until the age of 25. If schools introduced hazard perception techniques to pupils before they even reach driving age, teenagers would have a much better awareness of hazards and how to plan for them, ultimately leading to safer road behaviour.”

Watch the experiment at https://youtu.be/VHKT_D8Clr4.


The examiner who conducted the mock theory test has backed a call to teach schoolchildren road skills.

Rebecca Ashton, of IAM RoadSmart (formerly the Institute of Advanced Motorists) said: “Road safety needs to become part of a young person’s thinking and ingenie’s suggestion of introducing hazard perception training in schools would be a good opportunity to help give under 17s a head start before they’re even thinking about driving lessons. Other countries have teaching on road safety as part of primary and secondary education, so why should we not have it too?”