How many accidents happen on the practical driving test?

5 Posted: 5th Apr 2021
How many accidents happen on the practical driving test?

A new piece of research from Group 1 Automotive has discovered how many learners have had accidents whilst taking their driving test over the last five years.

We can now reveal there have been over 3000 crashes during practical driving tests in the last five years, and the figures are rising.

  • How many accidents happen on the practical driving test?

    It was recently announced that after five months of suspended tests, the Driving Vehicles Standard Authority will restart driving tests in some regions from April 22.

    With that in mind, a new piece of research from Group 1 Automotive has discovered how many learners have had accidents whilst taking their driving test over the last five years.

    We can now reveal there have been over 3000 crashes during practical driving tests in the last five years, and the figures are rising.

  • Total number of collisions

    We asked the DVSA via Freedom of Information request to provide us with the number of driving tests in which a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian was recorded from 1st January 2015 until present day. This data was sourced from all driving tests on record including cars, motorcycles, lorries and buses.

    The data revealed that in the last six years there have been 3,114 incidents in total, with the highest year on record being 2019-2020, when 695 people crashed in their practical driving tests alone. When examining the year on year numbers, we can see that vehicle to vehicle collisions in driving tests has risen by 40% from 2016-2020.

    So far, there have been 137 incidents in driving tests in the last calendar year, because of the reduced number of tests being taken for covid.

  • Graph showing the number of collisions on driving tests per year and their increase
  • Although the data includes all types of test, Car, Motorcycles LGV/PCV and trailer tests, the majority of these happened in car practical driving tests. 2869 learners had collisions with other vehicles in the last five years, while motorcycle tests only had 52.

    Collisions with pedestrians

    The DVSA also provided the information regarding how many people have been hit by a moving vehicle during practical driving tests. A total of 30 people have been hit by a learner drivers while taking their test, seven of these incidents happened in 2019-2020. Due to GDPR limitations restricting the data, we have been unable to find the specific numbers for all of the tests.

  • Graph showing the number of collisions on different test types
  • *Motorcycle Mod 1 has been removed due to GDPR

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Notes to Editor:

Methodology:

We undertook a Freedom of Information request to the DVSA on March 1 asking the following:

Please provide data for the collated number of collisions during DVSA driving tests over the requested time period. Can it please be presented in spreadsheet format broken down in the following ways:

  • Test type
  • Whether the collision was with another vehicle or pedestrian.
  • Year occurred
  • Test centre where the driving test was being taken
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