Driving on the Motorway after having recently passed your driving test can be a very big deal to the average teenager or young adult. Or indeed, any newly qualified driver. Motorway skills as regard lane control, observation and communication can be very different on the Motorway compared to ones usual commute to work through sleepy back streets.
In order to avoid these stressors, a new law has passed allowing learner drivers to head on to the Motorway in advance of passing their driving test. Learners can book optional, additional Motorway driving lessons, specifically designed to build confidence before heading out onto the faster Motorways. The catch, of course, is that learner drivers must be accompanied by an approved instructor in a dual-control car.
In this way, learner drivers will now have the chance to get a broader driving experience by understanding how to use lanes, slip roads, and how to overtake and drive at higher speeds. It’s understandable that after passing their driving test, a lot of new drivers either avoid the Motorway for as long as possible, or they may choose to book another lesson with an instructor just so they can practice going on the Motorway. In fact, in a recent survey it was shown that more than 50% of learner drivers asked said they wished their driving lessons included Motorway experience.
The response to this new law is generally positive. A lot of parents are happy, saying they wish they had this experience when they were a new driver, and learner drivers appear to be both excited and nervous. Regardless of opinion, it’s an important change, with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling saying that “Younger drivers are up to seven times more likely to be killed or seriously injured compared to drivers over 25, and lack of experience is an important factor… Allowing learners to drive on Motorways in a supportive environment will help them develop a practical understanding of how to use Motorways safely before driving independently.”
Let’s hope that this new law will help build new drivers’ confidence so that they can develop their skills and no longer fear or avoid the Motorway!