Aviva Survey

Some 25% of people say insufficient practice and experience are the number 1 reasons for driving test failures

One in three women believe pre-test butterflies to be the main culprit behind the failures

One in ten say the people who don’t pass are simply bad drivers

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail – the old adage rings true for almost 50% of the Irish public when it comes to passing their driving test. In a new survey from Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC (Aviva), 25% of respondents said the reason for Ireland’s high failure rate for driving tests (45% according to the Road Safety Authority’s latest statistics) is that not enough practice is undertaken by drivers in advance.

Aviva’s survey, which polled 1,000 adults nationwide[1] also found that about one in four (23%) people believe nerves get the better of those sitting their driving test – making the “butterflies” the second most likely reason people don’t pass the test.

Men are more likely to blame lack of experience and practice (53% vs 42% of women) for a fail result, whereas more women than men believe test-induced nerves to be at fault (27% vs 18%).

Other reasons for the high fail rate according to survey respondents is attributed to harsh testers (13% of those polled cited this as the main reason behind a failed test); bad drivers (9%) and the fact that the test is too difficult or outdated (8%).

Doing the legwork in advance of any test you have in life is hugely important. And given the practical nature of the driving test, practice and time on the road is crucial. Without that, you are simply not giving yourself a fighting chance of passing. “Having said that, even if you have taken all the lessons and tried your best to practice as much as possible, I think most of us will identify with the anxiety and stress that comes with sitting the driving test. It’s a huge milestone in people’s lives, so the extent to which people believe that nerves are one of the main reasons that people fail is not altogether surprising. The results of the survey give rise to some interesting questions around why women seem to suffer these nerves more than men. If it is nerves – rather than lack of ability or preparation – which results in so many failed driving tests, this is a lost opportunity to get more qualified drivers on the road - and to give young people the independence and mobility they need. Perhaps more could be done to help people feel at ease when doing their test

Billy Shannon, Aviva

Aviva points to Ireland’s average driving test failure rate of about 45%, which means that nearly half of those who sit their driving tests don’t pass it[2]. Statistics from the Road Safety Authority’s (RSA) website show the driving test failure rate is even higher in some test centres – with almost six in ten failing it in Nenagh, Co Tipperary (58%) and Charlestown in Dublin (57%). Failure rates are also higher than average in Mulhuddart (55%), Raheny (55%), and Drogheda (54%).

Other highlights from the research include:

  • More than half (53%) of those aged between 18 and 24 – the demographic that probably makes up the majority of those taking their driving test for the first time - stated that failing to prepare for the test is most people’s downfall; with a further 14% saying insufficient practice is the downfall.
  • Those aged between 18 and 24 are least likely to attribute a failed test to nerves, with only 8% of this age cohort citing nerves as the main reason people fail their test compared to almost one in three (27%) of those aged between 25 and 34 – and 27% of those aged between 45 and 54.
  • Dubliners are less inclined than others to believe nerves get the better of those sitting their test – 18% of Dubliners cited nerves as the main reason that almost one in two drivers fail their test, compared to 25% in Munster and other Leinster counties, and 24% in Connacht.
  • Those aged between 45 and 54 are more inclined than other age cohorts to think the test is too difficult or outdated.

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