Anxious new drivers most fear the weather, the dark and driving alone

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Admiral survey reveals new drivers' worst fears which include bad weather and night time driving

Difficult weather conditions, driving in the dark and driving alone top the list of the main anxieties for new drivers according to research by car insurance specialist, Admiral MultiCar.

Admiral surveyed 2,000 motorists about their experience while they were learning to drive and after they first passed their driving test. It found the main motivation for learning to drive is the need to be independent, according to 62% of motorists asked. Half said the main reason they learned was to be able to get to places at their own pace, while 41% said they did it to be able to get to work.

Somewhat unsurprising is the main emotion learner drivers experience during their driving test - nervousness. Just under half (47%) said that’s how they felt when they took their first took their test. However, almost a quarter (23%) said they felt confident.

Test day confidence

Admiral found there was a difference in the percentage of people who felt confident during their driving test depending on the age of those surveyed. Only 18% of the under 25s said they felt confident, compared with 36% of those aged 35 to 44. The least confident were those aged 45 to 54. Only 15% of this group said they were confident during their test.

Admiral MultiCar spokesman, Justin Beddows, said: “It’s perfectly natural to feel nervous when you first take your driving test. What is surprising is the number who said the main emotion they felt was confidence. I certainly didn’t feel confident, and it’s a memory that’s stayed with me for the last 25 years!”

Once they pass their test the majority of new drivers can’t wait to hit the road by themselves and do so the same day. Some 55% said they went out on their own the day they passed their test. However, 7% said they waited a month while 2% said they didn’t go out on their own for at least a year.

Admiral MultiCar found the first solo drive is full of worries for most new drivers. The number one anxiety is driving in difficult weather conditions (30%). This is followed by driving in the dark (29%) and driving alone (23%). Only 15% said crashing was their biggest worry.

What were you most worried about the first time you drove alone?

  1. Driving in difficult weather conditions - 30%
  2. Driving in the dark - 29%
  3. Driving alone - 23%
  4. Breaking down and being unaccompanied - 16%
  5. Not knowing your way around - 15%
  6. Crashing - 15%
  7. Driving with passengers in the car - 10%
  8. Ending up in a destination you don’t know - 7%
  9. Not knowing how to put fuel in the car - 5%
  10. Not understanding road signs - 4%

Mr Beddows, added: “Nothing quite prepares you for being on the road by yourself for the first time and it’s almost like you have to learn to drive again without the support of your instructor.

“Our own statistics show that people who have passed their test and move from a provisional licence are unfortunately, more likely to have an accident than a learner driver.”

Could you pass the test again?

So do motorists think they would pass their driving test if they had to re-sit it today? The vast majority are confident in their abilities, with more than four out of five drivers saying they would pass. Only 19% said they don’t think they would.

Again, there was a difference in confidence between age groups with those aged 35 to 44 being most confident, only 15% of this age group said they didn’t think they would pass their test today. The least confident in their ability was those aged 45 to 54, 22% of this group doubted they would pass.

This confidence maybe doesn’t match reality however as only half of the motorists surveyed said they passed first time. For 31% it took two attempts. For nearly one in eight it took three goes while one in 20 took four or more tests before passing.

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