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24 February 2012
Drivers reveal where they drove after passing their test
Most newly-qualified drivers shun social journeys for their first drive after passing their driving test, according to AA Driving School.
An AA/Populus survey of drivers shows the joint most popular first-time trips were driving home (18%) and those who just wanted to drive ‘anywhere’ (18%).
The high number of motorists who said they drove home after passing their test is concerning and AA Driving School advises people not to drive home after a test as they may lack concentration.
However, almost a third (29%) of drivers aged 65 and over said they drove home compared to just 8% of younger drivers, aged 18 to 24, which indicates it has become less acceptable to drive home after a test over time.
The second most popular journey was a confidence-boosting drive around the block (16%).
And one in six (15%) jumped behind the wheel to drive themselves to work, college or school.
Only one percent of drivers said their first drive without ‘L’ plates was on a night out or to go to a cinema, restaurant, pub or bar.
That first drive after passing your test is a milestone for every driver, embarked on with a mixture of excitement and trepidation
Mark Peacock, Head of AA Driving School
Mark Peacock, head of AA Driving School, said: “It’s very surprising so many drivers said they drove home for their first trip when it is not advisable to do so because it’s hard to concentrate when you’re that excited. But, it’s good news younger drivers are less likely to do this, indicating it’s a habit new drivers are losing.
“That first drive after passing your test is a milestone for every driver, embarked on with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.
“For most people, their overriding memory is a feeling of great independence and they couldn’t wait to get out on the road as soon as possible, regardless of where they were going.
“That so many drivers choose to use that first trip to get themselves to work or school highlights the practical benefits of having a driving licence. It really is an essential life skill.”
The first time you get behind the wheel of a car as a qualified driver can be a daunting prospect and for most people remains a strong memory.
AA Driving School research shows that 60% of new drivers stick to journeys of less than 10 miles for their first outing. But 16% are confident enough to tackle journeys of more than 100 miles. One person questioned even managed a 200 mile journey.
Department for Transport statistics show that 1 in 5 drivers are involved in a crash during their first year on the road.
New drivers are effectively ‘on probation’ for their first two years as a full licence holder under the New Drivers Act. If you reach six or more penalty points in that time, you’ll lose your licence and have to re-take your test.
(24 February 2012)
AA/Populus polled 20,659 people between 19-25 January 2012