The skills and rules catching learner drivers out

Learner drivers struggled to remember roundabout rules and master parallel parking according to new research from RACQ, prompting a reminder for novice drivers to prioritise plenty of practice.

Club spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said RACQ’s Young Driver Survey 2020 revealed 28 percent of learner drivers found roundabout rules the hardest to learn or remember which was up from 13.7 percent in 2019.

“Rules around specific distances, giving way, stopping and cyclist rules were also the most challenging to young drivers,” Ms Ritchie said.

“It takes time to become a skilled and confident driver which is why it’s so important learners clock up their 100 hours as a minimum, in a variety of driving conditions.”

Ms Ritchie said young drivers found parallel reverse parking the hardest skill to learn, with more than 40 percent of learners and 50 percent of P1 and P2 drivers saying it was the most difficult.

“There’s no doubt that parallel parking is stumping a lot of our young drivers, the response was overwhelming,” she said.

“Merging in traffic and right-angle parking were also high on the list.

“These skills might be daunting but it’s important young drivers feel confident doing them, so put the time in to practice them again and again.”

Ms Ritchie said more than 42 percent of learner drivers said the better supervisor was a driving instructor, followed by mum, then dad.

“According to the research, it’s mum who’s doing more of the training behind the wheel and is the favoured expert over dad,” she said.

“But it doesn’t matter who’s instructing, as long as you’re passing on the right information and setting good habits for young drivers. So if you’re about to teach a young driver, brush up on your own skills before you get into the passenger’s seat.”