The Driver Standards Agency (DSA) of the Department of Transport is responsible for carrying out all driving tests in Great Britain and for the control of driver training through the register of Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs). There are currently nearly 33,000 ADIs on the register. In order to collect information on the content and structure of the tuition given by ADIs and on their attitudes to, and opinions about, a number of driver training and road safety issues, a postal survey of approximately 4000 ADIs has been carried out. The survey covered the way basic skills are taught and the teaching of the higher order skills such as knowledge of accident causes, hazard perception and defensive driving. Most ADIs closely follow the DSA recommended syllabus for driver training. Most ADIs also encourage their pupils to practice with friends and relatives and give guidance on practice, suggesting what should be practised and where. Most ADIs claim to include teaching about accident causes, hazard perception skills and defensive driving in their tuition, usually by giving a commentary whilst the pupil is driving or by discussion in the car. In preparation for the test, about four fifths of ADIs took pupils on test routes to practice manoeuvres which would be included in the test, and the majority of ADIs took pupils on these routes to practice normal driving. The ADIs' views about the DOT driving test were broadly in line with the views of newly qualified drivers; both groups judging the test to be at least a 'fairly good' test of a person's ability to drive. The ADI's rankings of a range of driving offences, were similar to those given by sample groups of both police officers and members of the driving public. The report suggests that since driver training will remain an essential element in Great Britain's road safety strategy for the foreseeable future, driving instructors need to be supported by research aimed at providing better ways of teaching L-drivers improved accident avoidance skills. (A)

Want to know more about this project?