Half of drivers would fail theory tests if they took them now

For many drivers, passing the theory test is a necessary hurdle that must be cleared in order to get their licence. Once on the road, most won't give the Highway Code much thought and are confident in their ability to drive safely. And research has showed millions of motorists are left flummoxed when presented with questions from a theory test.

Most of us have a general idea of what we should and shouldn't do behind the wheel but when it comes to naming specifics, it becomes a bit more tricky. The Highway Code often gets updated, years after many drivers pass their tests, complicating matters further. To test motorists' knowledge, a number of questions were put to 2,000 people.

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The results of the study showed half of drivers would fail their theory tests if they took them now, while nine in 10 were unable to answer all five particularly tough questions. These almost impossible questions were: (answers below)

  1. What, if anything, do you think triangular road signs indicate?
  2. What lights, if any, do you think are appropriate to turn on when driving on the motorway at night, when there are cars ahead of you?
  3. What, if anything, do you think the legal speed limit on a motorway is, if no signs indicate otherwise?
  4. When driving on a wet road, what time gap, if any, do you think you need to leave between your car and the car in front of you?
  5. What, if anything, do you think you should do if you have to quickly slow down when driving on the motorway?

Connor Campbell, expert at Independent Advisor Car Insurance[4], which conducted the study, said: "It's shocking how many motorists don't know the rules when it comes to the basics of safe driving practices. Being behind the wheel entails significant responsibility, and risking the lives of other road users due to negligence is simply unacceptable.

"You should adopt a defensive driving approach to minimise collision risks by focusing not only on your actions, but also your surroundings. That includes the behaviour of other drivers, pedestrians, and any obstacles on the road, not to mention adjusting your driving based on weather and road conditions. "Look 15 seconds ahead and communicate your intentions clearly while driving - remember to signal when changing lanes even if you don't see other cars nearby.

Additionally, don't rush, and maintain a safe following distance to allow for sudden stops or unforeseen manoeuvres."


  1. Warnings
  2. Dipped headlights
  3. 61mph to 70mph
  4. 4-5 seconds
  5. Turn on your hazard lights


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