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Are you smarter than a teen driver?

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If you're driving at night with your vehicle headlights on high beam, when must you dip them?

If you have a rear tyre blowout what will your vehicle do?

What does T2 mean on a Transit Lane sign?

If you're not sure of the answers, you're not alone, as these are three of the ten road code questions which teen drivers and others sitting learner licence theory tests most often get wrong.

The NZ Transport Agency has for the first time revealed the 'top ten' toughest questions from the Class 1 learner licence theory test, and is encouraging all new drivers to hit the books and learn the road code before sitting the test.

"The good news is that the pass rate for the driver licence theory test is increasing and is now sitting at around 70% - and even the toughest questions on the theory test are still being answered correctly more often than people are getting them wrong," said Transport Agency Road Safety Director Ernst Zollner.

Mr Zollner said the computerised format for learner licence theory tests, introduced in November 2009, was providing the Transport Agency with new insights into potential gaps in learner drivers' road code knowledge, which could help to identify specific issues to target through driver education.

On the flipside of the toughest questions, test data shows that nearly all learner licence applicants know what to do when approaching a one-lane bridge, how to respond to flashing lights and sirens, and what to do when someone in another vehicle begins to pass - with questions on all of those topics answered correctly by more than 99% of new drivers.

The Transport Agency introduced computerised theory testing for learner driver licence tests in November 2009. The test asks 25 general and 10 class-specific questions randomly selected from a databank of over 200 questions, but unlike the old paper 'scratchie' tests which the computerised test replaced, it presents them as a random string of 35 questions.

Nationwide the pass rate for the Class 1 (car) theory test reached 70% in July this year, and while a slight drop to 67% was recorded in August, the national pass rate is up significantly from 60% at the same time last year and less than 50% in 2009.

"We've seen the pass rate for computerised theory testing steadily increase as young drivers have gotten the message that they really need to learn the road code before sitting the test. That's great news for everyone who uses the road, because we need our newest drivers to be safe drivers who understand the road rules."

The Transport Agency also encourages young drivers who have passed the theory test and gained a learner licence to put in plenty of supervised practice and use the free resources at www.practice.co.nz(external link) to prepare for the more challenging restricted licence practical test which was introduced in February last year.

Mr Zollner said the number of fatal and serious injury crashes involving teenage drivers had dropped from 475 in 2008 to 257 last year, and while the downward trend was encouraging, road crashes were still the single biggest killer of teenagers in New Zealand. With an average of one teenager killed on New Zealand roads every week in recent years our teen crash rates were still among the worst in the developed world.
"That’s a situation no-one should accept, and New Zealanders are looking for decisive action to reduce this needless waste of young life and young potential,” Mr Zollner said. “Raising the standard of driving required to gain a licence with more challenging tests is an essential part of the solution.”

Mr Zollner said more challenging driver tests were a key element of the Government’s Safer Journeys action plan to improve the safety of young drivers, and other changes introduced as part of the same package have included increasing the minimum driving age to 16, lowering the youth alcohol limit for teen drivers to zero, and encouraging teen drivers and their parents to buy the safest vehicles they can afford.

Road code stumpers - top ten incorrectly answered learner licence theory test questions

 

1) When driving at night on a road with lanes you must be able to stop in half the length of clear road you can see in front of you.

True or False? 

Answer: False
The Road code advises that at night, just as during the daytime, you must drive at a safe speed. This means that:

  • on a road with lanes, you must be able to stop in the length of clear road you can see in front of you
  • on a road with no lanes, you must be able to stop in half the length of clear road you can see in front of you.

41% answered incorrectly (4,719 incorrect responses from 11,522 tests)

2) On a Transit Lane sign, what does T2 mean?

A. Vehicles that use the lane must have at least two people.
B. Vehicles that use the lane must have two passengers
C. Only two vehicles are permitted on the transit lane at any time
D. There are two transit lanes ahead

Answer: A
37% answered incorrectly (5,116 incorrect responses from 13,666 tests)

3) If you have a rear tyre blowout, the vehicle will:

A. Pull to the side with the blowout
B. Pull away from the side with the blowout
C. Sway from side to side
D. Increase speed

Answer: C
32% answered incorrectly (8,820 incorrect responses from 27,225 tests)

4) You have a restricted licence. A condition for driving at night without a supervisor is that you MUST NOT drive between:

A. 8 pm to 6 am
B. 10 pm to 5 am
C. 10 pm to 6 am
D. 11 pm and 7 am

Answer: B
28% answered incorrectly (7,709 incorrect responses from 27,483 tests)

5) If you have a front tyre blowout, the vehicle will:

A. Pull to the side with the blowout
B. Pull away from the side with the blowout
C. Sway from side to side
D. Slow down

Answer: A
26% answered incorrectly (7,165 incorrect responses from 27,483 tests)

6) When turning right from a two-laned road into a one-way street that has two lanes, which lane must you turn into?

A. The right-hand lane
B. The left-hand lane
C. The lane that has the least vehicles
D. The lane that gives you the most direct route

Answer: A
26% answered incorrectly (2,773 incorrect responses from 10,813 tests)

7) If you are driving at night with your vehicle headlights on high beam, when MUST you dip them?

A. At an intersection
B. In a one-way street
C. Approaching a police officer on point duty
D. In a town or city

Answer: C
25% answered incorrectly (2,734 incorrect responses from 10,728 tests)

8) If you have a restricted licence you can carry a passenger if they are your spouse.

True or False

Answer: True
25% answered incorrectly (6,864 incorrect responses from 27,665 tests)

9)This sign tells you that you are coming up to a railway level crossing. What should you do?

alt

A. Slow down so that you can look both ways to check that the crossing is clear
B. Speed up to drive over the crossing as quickly as possible
C. Stop to check whether the crossing is clear
D. Turn your vehicle indicators on before driving over the crossing

Answer: A
24% answered incorrectly (3,394 incorrect responses from 13,888 tests)

10) What is the maximum distance a load may extend in front of a car?

A. 2 metres from the front edge of the front seat
B. 3 metres from the front edge of the front seat
C. 4 metres from the front edge of the front seat
D. 5 metres from the front edge of the front seat

Answer: B
24% answered incorrectly (6,684 incorrect responses from 27,485 tests)

The road rules (almost) everyone knows - top ten correctly answered learner licence theory test questions

1. What should you do if an ambulance comes up behind you, flashing red lights or sounding its siren?

A. Speed up to avoid delay
B. Put your vehicle hazard lights on and drive on at the same speed
C. Slow down, pull over and allow the ambulance to pass
D. Flash your vehicle headlights to warn oncoming traffic

Answer: C
99.92% answered correctly (9 incorrect responses from 10,863 tests)

2. If you are the driver and hurt somebody in a crash, who must you report it to?

A. A clerk of the court
B. A police officer
C. A Justice of the Peace
D. A lawyer

Answer: B.
99.91% answered correctly (10 incorrect responses from 11,018 tests)

3. What must you do when you hear a siren or see red flashing lights from an ambulance or fire engine?

A. Speed up to get out of the way
B. Drive up onto the footpath
C. Pull over and allow it to pass
D. Keep driving as you were

Answer: C
99.90% answered correctly (23 incorrect responses from 11,694 questions)

4. You are the driver of the blue car. What must you do?

alt

A. Keep driving as the cyclist has to stop
B. Stop and give way to the cyclist
C. Keep driving as the cyclist has to give way to larger vehicles
D. Sound the warning device to warn the cyclist

Answer: B
99.85% answered correctly (19 incorrect responses from 12,197 tests).

5. Who can require you to undergo a breath screening test?

A. An ambulance officer
B. A doctor
C. A member of the public
D. A police officer

Answer:  D
99.70% answered correctly (35 incorrect responses out of 11,487 questions).

6. What must you do when you come up to a red light showing at traffic signals?

A. Stop and then go on carefully
B. Go on slowly if no other traffic is coming
C. Stop only if other vehicles are coming from the right
D. Stop and wait until it changes to a green light

Answer:  D
99.67% answered correctly (46 incorrect responses out of 14,055 tests)

7. What should you do if the vehicle behind you starts to pass you?

A. Move over to the right so that they cannot pass
B. Speed up so that they will not need to pass
C. Signal for them to stay behind you because you think they are going too fast
D. Move as far to the left side of the road as is safe and do not speed up

Answer: D.
99.61% answered correctly (42 incorrect responses out of 10,860 tests)

8. If you miss your exit on a motorway, you should: 99.59%

A. use the flush median strip and reverse back to the exit
B. make a U-turn back to the exit
C. drive on to the next exit
D. slowly stop and reverse back to the exit

Answer: C.
99.59% answered correctly (44 incorrect responses out of 10, 801 tests)

9. As the holder of any class of driver licence you must carry your licence with you at all times when driving.

True or False?

Answer: True.
99.54% answered correctly (54 incorrect responses out of 11,770 tests)

10. What should you do when you come up to a one-lane bridge? 

A. Sound your vehicle horn and drive slowly over the bridge
B. Turn your vehicle headlights on and drive quickly over the bridge
C. Slow down and check for any oncoming vehicles before driving on
D. Drive on and make sure any oncoming vehicles reverse off the bridge

Answer: C
99.51% answered correctly (57 incorrect responses out of 11,690 tests)

 

For more information please contact:

Andy Knackstedt
Media Manager

T: 04 894 6285
M: 021 276 3222
E: andrew.knackstedt@nzta.govt.nz

The NZ Transport Agency works to create transport solutions for all New Zealanders - from helping new drivers earn their licences, to leading safety campaigns to investing in public transport, state highways and local roads.  

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