The top ten bad habits of young drivers

Research reveals not hogging the middle lane, better manners behind the wheel, and being able to open a car door carefully are the driving lessons all learners need

Whether it’s down to bad habits setting in or too little experience on the road, 99 per cent of UK motorists would like to send some drivers back to school to refine their skills behind the wheel, new research has shown.

A study from Young Driver, a provider of pre-17 driving lessons, asked 1,000 UK motorists what elements of driving they thought should be focused on more in the learning process. As well as driving at the correct speed, driver etiquette and avoiding distractions, one in three drivers (35 percent) say they wish learners had a lesson on the careful opening of car doors, to avoid dinging another vehicle.

According to the research from Young Driver, the main areas motorists wish drivers could go back to school to learn about are the dangers of using a mobile phone behind the wheel, driving too fast and tailgating.

Driving etiquette – such as thanking drivers or allowing people to filter in – also featured highly, with 45 percent of drivers wishing more focus was given to that during lessons. Being a middle-lane hog, bad parking and failing to use an indicator were also bad habits drivers wished could be avoided by getting the learning process right.

Another area people thought should be an essential part of the driving curriculum is night time and motorway driving – with neither currently being a legal requirement of learning to drive in the UK, despite them being a regular experience for most motorists.

Further areas of focus included being taught about the dangers of driving too slowly, which 34 percent of drivers flagged as important, when and how headlights should be used (29 percent) and how average speed cameras work (19 percent). One in four (25 percent) thought lessons on how to drive with passengers without getting distracted would also be useful.

The top 10 things motorists wish learner drivers could be taught more successfully

Not to use a mobile phone when driving – 56 percent

Not to drive too fast – 49 percent

The dangers of tailgating – 47 percent

Driving etiquette, such as thanking other drivers or allowing people to filter in – 45 percent

How to drive on motorways – 43 percent

How to drive at night – 40 percent

Not to be a middle lane hog – 40 percent

How to park better – 40 percent

To always use an indicator – 38 percent

How to open a car door in a tight parking space without banging it into the car next to you – 35 percent

Laura White from Young Driver said: “Sometimes, when learning to drive, there’s a focus on the mechanics of driving – but we all know there’s much more to it than biting points and gear changes.

“A large part of being a good driver boils down to having a greater awareness of other road users and being courteous to those around you. There are also certain areas where more practical tuition would help too, like motorway or night time driving, which are needed by nearly all drivers, but are not an essential part of the learning process. Of course, in many cases, people may have been taught the right way to drive, but bad habits slip in over time.”

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