Thursday, 21 February 2013

Driving Disasters

by Hattie Gould and Annie Materna

In the UK, from a young age, it is an ambition of every child to reach the age of 17 and finally be able to learn to drive. The sense of being independent and transporting ourselves wherever we like looks like a dream: meeting your friends whenever you want, MacDonalds drive through and controlling a vehicle. Driving looks effortless, we see our parents do it every day, but is it really that easy?

As you grow older and approach the menacing age of 17, as friends you naturally start to talk about passing your driving test, debating who will be the worst and the best drivers and the humiliation of being the one to fail multiple times. If this is a worry, worry no longer, you cannot possibly be a worse driver than Cha.

ChaSa-soon: 771 failed driving tests
(source: Daily Telegraph)
In 2009, The Daily Mail discovered that a South Korean woman named Cha (age 68) had failed her driving test 771 times and, at the time of writing, had still not passed. If Cha was to have taken her driving test in the UK 771 times, it would have cost her approximately £47,800; however in South Korea to take your driving test it is a lot cheaper and would have cost her 4 million won which is the equivalent to £1,600. To spend over a thousand pounds on driving tests alone is a ridiculous amount and that is not taking into account any driving lessons she might have taken (although, in order to fail 771 times, it looks doubtful Cha took any driving lessons).

I believe that it can be safely said that Cha is not going to be the next Sebastian Vettel or Jenson Button but should she continue on giving driving her all or should she take that failing 771 times as a sign that she should not pass her driving test? To some this may seem like a sign and that Cha should just not attempt to pass any longer and instead accept the fact that she should not drive.

However, whatever happened to the saying 'never give up'? Clearly Cha is not giving up as driving is becoming an increasingly important part of many peoples lives and it is a necessity to so many people, especially Cha at the age of 68. At the age of 16 or 17, teenagers begin to realize the advantages of driving, such as being able to be in control of where you go, who comes with you and when you want to go, as opposed to having to confer with your parents or get a train, or even walk, yet maybe we do not quite realize the hard work that needs to go into driving before taking our test, especially if we want to pass early on... not 771 tests later.

There are many other disastrous driving test stories of people driving on the wrong side of the road. For example, driving up onto roundabouts and a lot of stalling and hesitation. Although driving test stories always sound dramatic, it is actually surprisingly common to fail your driving test: the current overall pass rate is just 42% and the first-time pass rate is even lower. This does not sound encouraging to those that have not yet taken their test; however, it proves how common mistakes are when taking your driving test, mainly due to the nervousness people feel because they want to pass so badly, usually because, at the young age of 17, in Britain many teens compete to be the first to pass and want to be able to drive to impress their friends etc.

However, I think these statistics just prove that what is more important when learning to drive is to really learn rather than rush through everything in order to take your test because, as proved here, you are more likely to fail than pass. Therefore, focus on learning and practising before rushing into your test and you will be the safest driver, and (you never know) maybe you will be the next Sebastian Vettel or Jenson Button!


  1. I hope I don't end up like Cha, a great insight as to how my driving may go, when I eventually get there.

  2. Have too think, much to rush in the current system

  3. That's a lot of money to spend on driving test's! I hope I don't fail that many times!

  4. i have heard of a few driving centers that alow 11 - 17 year olds to drive in them. ( so you don't have to wait till you are 17 years old)


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