Driving test stats make a loud crash

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More than 300 learner drivers and their 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 (DSA) 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 DSA recorded 147 major injuries to the examiner or candidate which required medical attention from a GP or at hospital.

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).

DSA 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 per cent.

Autoglass managing director Matthew Mycock said: “These figures really are quite alarming, and beg the question of how many candidates are being entered before they are fully prepared.”