Yesterday the BBC published an article showing that in the UK there had been 240 cases of physical and verbal abuse against driving examiners last year.
The most extreme cases of this included:
- A ‘failed’ driver telling an examiner to “start running… because I’m going to mow you down.”
- A man swerving wildly across a dual-carriageway when he was asked to stop the car.
- A car that needed to be stopped by the police because the driver refused to stop the car when asked by the examiner.
- A failed learner that tried to break down an examiner’s office door with a fire extinguisher.
Pretty crazy huh?
Now we’re pretty sure none of our pupils have ever thrown a tantrum as destructive as these; but it can definitely be easy to feel disgruntled by an examiner who fails you for what seems like a minor point.
There is a reality that driving examiners do have a ‘quota’ of pupils to pass and fail (so they don’t fall into the mean or lenient category). But this can often mean your chances of passing are improved if lots of people have already failed that month and vice-versa.
Examiners do also vary in opinion and strictness, even with their set guidelines.
So really, a test failure can be the examiner’s fault right?
Well… blame isn’t really the point here.
It’s worth asking what is your most important aim is. Is it to pass your test asap (which is a valid aim) or is it to live a long healthy life?
The number of road deaths increased last year to 1810 casualties; the number of severe injuries to 25,160.
That’s 5 deaths and 71 severe injuries a day; most between the ages of 17 and 24.
That’s significantly less than the 90 people killed by terrorist attacks in the last 15 years. And think about all the anti-terrorist efforts we’re making.
So, really, the examiners aren’t trying to shut down your driving hopes and dreams. They’re really just doing their best to ensure you aren’t one of those 5-a-day deaths or 70-a-day severely injured.
It’s worth being patient with driving. It’s worth taking the time to learn for your own well-being as well as to increase your chance of passing your test.
If you’ve already passed your test but feel a bit rusty, sometimes it’s worth taking a few extra lessons or a Pass Plus course. You can sometimes get discounts on your driving insurance if you’re a new driver who achieves their Pass Plus.
So be kind to your examiner, and to yourself! The aim is not to pass first time (although that’s great), the aim is to be able to enjoy driving for a full life span.