339 injured during driving tests

learner driverMore than 300 learner drivers and examiners were injured during driving tests in Britain last year, figures reveal.

Five examiners suffered physical attacks and 209 reported being verbally abused as stress got the better of candidates, according to Driving Standards Agency statistics obtained by windscreen repair firm Autoglass.

There was even one death recorded, although it was the result of a heart attack which was not attributed to the test.

The figures, released in response to a freedom of information request, also show that nervous or unprepared learner drivers committed more than a million dangerous or serious faults during car practical driving tests.

In 2010 the Driving Standards Agency recorded 147 major injuries to the examiner or candidate which required medical attention from a GP or at hospital.

There were a further 192 minor injuries where the victims received basic first aid, treated themselves or did not need treatment.

Learner drivers were most likely to fail the test for poor observation at junctions (65,988 dangerous and 296,341 serious faults recorded) or bad use of mirrors (32,827 dangerous and 172,945 serious faults).

Driving Standards Agency figures show 1,605,599 practical driving tests were taken in England, Wales and Scotland in 2010-11, of which 744,044 were passed, a success rate of 46.3%.

Autoglass managing director Matthew Mycock said: “Driving tests can be stressful occasions but these figures really are quite alarming. They beg the very real question of how many candidates are being entered before they are fully prepared.

“Of course people are going to make mistakes during the course of a test. But it is worrying that so many dangerous or serious errors are happening, not only from the point of view of candidates and examiners but also other road users and pedestrians.”

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