Reflections of a driving instructor Pt 2 Ep 5 UK Road Safety Data 2023
In this episode I am going to pick out data relating to road safety in the UK and relevant stats for the driving training industry from a selected range of published documents – all of which are available to view in full within the adi union forum. Please note that in order to keep this episode of a sufficiently attractive length, I clearly could not regurgitate ALL of the data that is available.
DVSA Annual Report and Accounts 2022-2023 Published 20/7/2023
Waiting times for theory tests are on average less than 25 days
Waiting times for practical tests are 16 weeks as of March 2023
3% decrease in collisions compared to June 2019, and 3% decrease in KSI casualties compared to June 2019
11% decrease in reported casualties of all severity compared to June 2019
2,780,00 theory tests and 1,970,000 practical tests carried out but a further 511,000 practical tests were booked but not carried out
68% of practical test candidates said they were ‘satisfied’ with the service from the DVSA
DVSA CEO total salary for 2022-2023 £165k-£170k
DfT National Statistics Reported Road Casualties GB, provisional results: 2022 Published 24/5/2023
1,695 fatalities (3% decline on 2019)
29,795 KSI casualties (3% decline on 2019)
136,002 casualties of all severity (11% decline on 2019)
20% decline in fatalities for ‘pedestrians’ compared to 2019
16% decline in all casualties for ‘car occupants’ compared to 2019
Steady decline trend in ‘KSI casualties’ and ‘total casualties’ in GB from 2012 – 2022
For 2022 46% of fatalities were car occupants, 22% pedestrians, 21% motorcyclists and 5% pedal cyclists
In terms of downward trends a similar result for casualties excepting motor cyclists which saw a 738 increase over the year.
75% of fatalities and 62% of casualties were male. 30-49 yr olds accounting for the majority of fatalities.
3% of fatalities and 10% of casualties were 16 yrs old or younger.
25% of fatalities were between 17 – 29 yrs old.
72% of fatalities were 30 yrs old or over and 23% 70 yrs old or over.
For females, 70+ yr olds accounted for the majority of fatalities.
There were 4.7 times more male fatalities compared to female for the 17 – 29 yr old groups.
There was a 26% increase in fatalites for females of 70 yrs or over compared to 2012
DVSA business plan 2022-2023
On track to recruit 300+ additional driving examiners
To help reduce driving test waiting times, exploring options for working with organisations to increase capacity.
Working with driving instructors to improve standards and pass rates.
Implement Educate and Advise plan to help people through a lifetime of safe driving
no more than 9 weeks waiting time for practical tests by Dec 2022 – not achieved
70% of candidates satisfied with service received by DVSA – not achieved
DVSA Annual Review 2022 – 2023
Tailoring emails to candidates based on number of test attempts
Working with colleges, schools and road safety groups to reach parents and families
Driving test pass rates of 47% for learners who did not take a mock test vs 65% for those who did
1,970,000 driving tests carried out, 10% more than in any previous year
DVSA strategic plan to 2025 Published 4/4/23
Shorten waiting times for car tests
Improve how to check eyesight prior to practical test
Consider digital pass certificates
Reduce backlog in testing
Explore if driving test routes can be designed locally to respond to local conditions in real time
Use evidence and data to improve support for instructors’ preparation for learners for test and a lifetime of safe driving
Help learners make better choices about driving instructors with data
Encourage learners to be better prepared for driving tests
DVSA Vision to 2030
Make roads safer – reduce number of people killed and injured
Make it more convenient to take theory and driving tests
Adapt tests for vehicles with self-driving features
By going through the above documents, (which includes several hundreds of pages), it is interesting to me that there is no mention of targets for fatalities/KSI/all casualties, national overall driving test or theory test pass rates, maximum waiting times for booking of tests, Grade A vs Grade B driving instructors, driving test pass rates for driving instructors vs private car presentations, PDI qualifying test pass rates, overall practical tests conducted, retention of ADI’s on register or engagement levels for the driving instructor survey, reduction of the proportion of practical tests in the booking system not yet conducted, consistency of driving test pass rates across driving test centres, cancelled driving tests by DVSA and reducing complaints against driving examiners.
Although it is clear that there is no room for complacency when it comes to road safety, the above documents do clearly evidence continued improvement to road safety trends since 2012 and driving instructors play their part in that achievement. It is quite clear though that there has been a change of focus in recent times away from published targets for key road safety data and instead looking at driving instructor driving test performance. Now that all driving instructors are having constant monitoring of data points relating to faults committed on test, interventions of examiners and pass rates, it attracts energy and effort over to test outcomes. And with the significant number of newcomers entering the industry continually due to the low retention of instructors nationally, it seems to me that there is a very real risk of newly qualified instructors being very much focussed on performance targets at test stage as opposed to safe driving skills for continued competence post-test. What seems all the more of a pity, is that despite this concentration (bordering on obsession) on improving pass rates, the latest figures of 48.1% for practical and 44.9% for theory (Jan-Mar 2023 DfT statistics) indicate no improvement at all. It also begs the question that if the goal of increasing pass rates is so important, then how can it only be so important for tests presented by driving instructors but not for tests presented in private cars?