Drive4Life instructors are teaching you to drive to a high standard and get you prepared to pass your driving test. Drive4Life instructors are fully aware that the requirements for the practical driving test are changing for 2017.
The practical driving test will feature four new additions this year.
Each of these additions builds on existing elements of the current test and the new driving test changes will come into effect later in 2017. These changes take into account new technology and more realistic driving scenarios and manoeuvres. Drive4Life instructors reckon they pay particular attention being paid to driving in rural areas.
How is the test changing?
1. Independent driving will increase to 20 minutes
The part of your driving test where you’re asked to drive independently is going to be made much longer – which feels like a good thing. This is the part of the test where Drive4Life instructors will teach you to be in control and by making this double the amount of time, you can feel confident and more relaxed in the driving seat.
Knowing you have 10 more minutes to do your thing should make you feel less panicked and, most importantly, allow you more time to show that you’re good with the basics.
2. Following Satnav directions
Don’t panic but as part of that 20 minutes of driving, you’ll be asked to follow a Satnav for directions instead of listening to the examiner. This has come into focus because a lot more drivers are relying on Satnavs to get them from A to B.
Driving with a Satnav is definitely a skill that’s important. Drive4Life instructors will be taking you on routes using a Satnav as it means concentrating on more than just the road ahead. It trains your brain to read the screen and the road at the same time, assessing each one and applying common sense before making a move.
But don’t worry – if the satnav starts telling you “you have reached your destination” when you’re still at a roundabout, the examiner will be ready to step in and help you out.
3. More real-life manoeuvres
So the two manoeuvres set to get the boot are reverse around a corner and turn in the road. (Pause for clapping and cheers?)
These will be replaced with more real-life situations:
- Driving into a parking bay in a public car park and reversing out
- Pulling up on the right of the road, reversing a short distance and rejoining the traffic
Confident driving in every situation is key and Drive4Life instructors will continue to show the everyday scenerios that you come across that can make you really anxious.
Being able to drive into Sainsbury’s car park without fearing that you’re going to get stuck in a bay forever or scratch up the Audi next to you is going to be more useful to you than that turn in a quiet back-road with no one watching.
The whole point is to prepare you for real-world driving. Why not go all-out and include drive-thru’s in the test? Extra points for ordering your examiner a milkshake and fries.
4. Being asked a safety question while you’re driving
We’ve all had that moment of sheer panic during a driving lesson when your examiner suddenly asks you to turn your wipers on and you’re like what?! sorry?! where?! me?!
Well, this change to the test is going to be a good step to try to ease that reaction.
As part of the show me, tell me questions that are currently in place, Drive4Life instructors will ask you to answer an instruction inside the car (like adjusting your demister) while you’re driving, instead of at the start of the test when you’re parked up.
Again – a much more useful skill to have for real-life driving.
Change is good
Our roads and the technology we use are constantly changing and making sure the driving test syllabus changes with them is really important.
As with any change, the initial months will probably be a bit new and scary, and will inevitably raise some concerns – just like the news on learners taking to the motorways. But keeping new drivers in bubble wrap during their lessons is not going to produce confident drivers and reduce crashes.
New drivers need to be fully equipped to deal with EVERY situation on the road before they set off on their own, These changes will be taught by Drive4Life instructors that should definitely help new drivers.
So, what does this all mean?
Well, the good news is that your test won’t change drastically.
Instead, these changes are simple and subtle variations, amendments or additions to current, existing test tasks.
For the first time, however, motorists will be asked a theory question whilst driving.
This is opposed to just being asked when you are stationary, like in previous years.
You will also be required to drive independently (with prior guidance from your examiner) for 20 minutes not 10 minutes
Being able to read a sat-nav display whilst driving will also be a requirement.
Why is the test changing?
Put simply: the test is changing because it needs to.