A generation of younger British drivers is incapable of driving on motorways due to a fear of multi-lane roads and a lack of skill, according to a new survey from the AA’s driving school.
As many as one in five drivers who have passed their test in the past five years say they lack the skill necessary to tackle motorways. This finding comes as the AA’s driving instructors encounter an increasing number of people terrified of Britain’s motorway network.
Just 44 per cent of female drivers and those aged 18-24 said they were confident of driving on motorways. This leaves a majority of female and younger drivers who either avoid motorways altogether or don’t feel confident when they drive on them.
Research carried out by the AA last year suggested that, in their first year of driving, 40 per cent of women avoid motorways — a figure that falls to 28 per cent by the third year. By contrast, 65 per cent of drivers aged 55-64 and 70 per cent of male drivers said they were confident enough to drive on motorways.
Overall, one in seven motorists in the UK say they lack the skills for motorway driving — equivalent to five million drivers. Driving too slowly, failing to observe safe following distances and failing to merge safely when joining the motorway are the problems most commonly seen by AA instructors.
The survey results come as Autocar and the AA call for motorway driving to be included in the driving test. Currently, learner drivers are not allowed on motorways and are not tested on the practical skills needed for motorway driving.
“Drivers aged between 17 and 24 are involved in more than a quarter of motorway accidents involving death or injury, so it’s time the driving test played its part in tackling this issue,” said Autocar news editor Dan Stevens.