There was recent talk from the Government about raising the UK driving age to 18, as well as other measures such as introducing a curfew for new drivers. Some people have said that these are not necessarily the measures that need to be looked at, however, and that our current driving test is inferior compared to other countries.
Whatever you think of our driving test requirements currently, we actually have some of the lowest traffic-related death rates in the world, standing at just 5.1 deaths per 100,000 vehicles. This rate is 20 times less than the equivalent in South Africa, and yet the South African driving test is one of the most difficult.
Some of the things that you can lose points for during the South African test include not engaging the handbrake silently whenever you stop and failing to check for leaks underneath the car. If your vehicle starts to roll backwards by even the slightest amount, then feel free to kiss your hopes of passing goodbye! The result of this notoriously difficult test, however, is that corruption is now widespread, with many young people paying to pass.
At the other end of the extreme stands Egypt, where the driving test used to require driving just six metres forwards and backwards to obtain a pass. The test has changed in more recent times, with a theory test being introduced and the forward and backward short drives now also including a bend.
Another country with a not so difficult test is Pakistan. Similarly to the UK, their test involves a brief eye test requiring the driver to prove that they can read a number plate from 20.5m away. However, this is where the similarities end, with Pakistan’s test needing just a short drive forwards and backwards through a set of cones. Then you’re let loose on some of the world’s most congested roads. India isn’t too dissimilar either, with their test only recently including the need for the driving instructor to be present in the car with the learner driver while they do a quick trip around the block before being declared safe to drive.
Several countries – Russia, Japan and Saudi Arabia, for example – present their drivers-to-be with slalom style obstacle courses to negotiate, while Texan learners are confined to the test centre for all their learner driving until they pass. Most difficult is perhaps Scandinavia, where specific number of learner hours must be logged before the test can be taken and the practical tests involve various different elements.
Becoming an Instructor
Whatever you think of our current testing process, becoming a driving instructor can be a rewarding job, both personally and financially. You can choose to be your own boss if you want and therefore choose your own working hours to suit your family and lifestyle, which is something that appeals to many. To qualify as an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) you will need to complete three qualifying tests and undergo an enhanced security check. You will also need to make sure you have an appropriate level of driving instructor’s insurance, so that you, your learner driver and your vehicle are all covered.
About the Author – Sarah Makinson is a freelance blogger who uses researches companies such as MasterCover Insurance in order to write about a number of lifestyle and business issues.