83% would fail theory test

A survey of more than 50,000 motorists has revealed that 83% are ‘un-roadworthy’.

Halfords quizzed the drivers to test their knowledge and found that 62% don’t know the legal drink driving limit in England and Wales, while the same number are still unaware of the change to speeding law.

These were among a raft of subjects which confused many drivers. In total, just 17% would have passed the current official theory test.

From dashboard symbols to drink driving laws, participants were tested on 10 basic roadworthy questions.

When asking motorists which of the following is an illegal act, 62% failed this question and were baffled as to what is illegal or legal to do when driving: paying with a smartphone at a drive thru; eating while driving; having an open bottle of beer in your car.

Eating while driving, though not advised, is not illegal, but 29% think it could be. Having an open bottle of beer in your car is not illegal either, but would be questioned by authorities and the driver may be obliged to perform a breath test; 32% of drivers think this would be breaking the law.

However, when it came to the illegal act of paying for a drive thru with a smartphone, 62% of motorists do not know this wasn’t allowed. It’s possible they could be at risk of being fined if they did this.

The findings also reveal that more than 1 in 10 (13%) are unaware of the changes in the law for using a phone while driving. A surprising 65% of new drivers are also unaware of the new fines for speeding.

Over the years there have been numerous campaigns discouraging drink-driving, raising awareness of not only the blood alcohol limit but the impact alcohol has on your reactions and ability to control a vehicle. However, it appears many drivers haven’t taken this on board; 62% of motorists are still unaware of the legal drink driving limit in England and Wales.

Also, the roadworthy test reveals that a huge 61% of motorists are unaware that four unworn tyres could result in a £10,000 fine. Also, 25% don’t know the legal tyre thread and therefore are at serious risk of breaking the law, as well as their tyres performing poorly if the driver unknowingly allows them to drop below the legal limit.

Drivers that passed their test in the last six months are the least roadworthy. As part of the 50,000-plus motorists that took the roadworthy test, 2,700 of those were new drivers. Shockingly, the analysis found that those were the least ‘roadworthy’ across the UK – 29% of these new drivers are unable to recognise the fog light symbol, 39% don’t know it is illegal to use their phone to pay for a drive thru, and 69% are unaware of the legal drink driving limit.

Ryan Vince from Halfords Autocentres, said, ‘The research has led to some eye-opening results. For example, it’s worrying that 62% of drivers don’t know the maximum fine for speeding and 65% of drivers were in the dark about the rules for worn tyres which could land them with a hefty fine. Whilst light-hearted, our test helps to reinforce and remind motorists of key roadworthy basics, whether they’re new or experienced.’