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Could you pass the driving theory test now?

| Insurance

Content updated September 2020

Learning to drive has changed pretty significantly since 1931, when Mr R. Beere was the first person to pass the UK driving test. Even recent generations have seen significant changes to cars, roads, technology, and the laws that respond to all three.

One of these changes has been the introduction of a written driving theory test in 1996. Previously, questions based on the Highway Code were asked to candidates during the practical test, but even the Highway Code itself was a very different book. Just 18 pages in 1931, the highway code is now over 130 pages long, and the compulsory theory test contains 50 multiple choice questions based on its contents.

So, just for a bit of fun, if you haven't taken the driving theory test see if you can correctly answer some of the hardest questions on recent versions of the test. Pens and paper at the ready!

1. When should hazard lights be activated while you are driving?

       A) On narrow country roads where animals are present
       B) As an alternative to beeping your horn
       C) As you approach a toucan crossing with cyclists waiting to cross
       D) On motorways to warn motorists behind you of hazards ahead

(Answer below the image)

Answer: D. Hazard lights are designed to warn other motorists of potential hazards up ahead, such as debris in the road or a sudden queue.

2. What percentage of all emissions does road transport account for?

       A) 10%
       B) 20%
       C) 30%
       D) 40%

(Answer below the image)

Answer: B. Road transport accounts for 20% of all emissions, with the rest caused by air transport, factories, intensive farming and other fuel intensive activities. 

3. At an unmarked crossroads, who has priority?

       A) The smallest vehicles
       B) No one
       C) The largest vehicles
       D) The fastest vehicles

(Answer below the image)

Answer: B. These are less common nowadays but can still be found along various country roads. At an unmarked crossroads no one has priority, so you need to remain observant and continue driving when it is safe.

4. You are travelling at 50mph on a good, dry road. What is your typical overall stopping distance?

       A) 36 metres (118 feet)
       B) 53 metres (175 feet)
       C) 75 metres (245 feet)
       D) 96 metres (315 feet)

(Answer below the image)

Answer: B. It takes 53 metres, or 13 car lengths, to come to a full stop when braking at 50mph. Shockingly at 70mph this increases to 96 metres! 

5. The vehicle behind you has a flashing green light on the roof. The driver is:

       A) A medical professional on an urgent call.
       B) Gritting the road.
       C) A policeman in an unmarked car on a non-urgent assignment.
       D) A patrol officer monitoring road safety.

(Answer below the image)

Answer: A. When you see a vehicle with a flashing green beacon on top, it means that a medical professional is on an urgent call..

6. You see a pedestrian with a dog. The dog has a yellow or burgundy coat. This especially warns you that the pedestrian is

       A) Elderly
       B) Dog Trained
       C) Colour Blind
       D) Deaf

(Answer below the image)

Answer: D. Whilst Guide Dogs for the Blind can usually be recognised by their metal harness, and sometimes a light blue or orange jacket, hearing dogs are usually recognised by their burgundy or yellow coats. 


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7. Which type of vehicle may have to follow an unconventional course on a roundabout?

       A) Convertibles
       B) Long vehicles
       C) Motorcycles
       D) 4x4s

(Answer below the image)

Answer: B. A lorry or other long vehicle on a roundabout may need to straddle two lanes to get round the roundabout safely.

8. On a motorway what is used to reduce traffic bunching?

       A) Variable speed limits
       B) Contraflow systems
       C) National speed limits
       D) Lane closures

(Answer below the image)

Answer: A. Variable speed limits are put in place. These help to prevent bottlenecking by slowing down traffic heading towards a queue, giving it time to dissipate before the new traffic arrives.

9. You are approaching a traffic light. Only the amber light is lit. Which light(s) will come on next?

       A) Both amber and green
       B) Both red and amber
       C) Green only
       D) Red only

(Answer below the image)

Answer: D. When an amber light is showing on its own, the traffic light is about to change to red. When both red and amber are lit, the light will shortly change to green.

10. You’re towing a small trailer on a busy three-lane motorway. All the lanes are open. You must:

       A) Not exceed 50mph
       B) Not overtake
       C) Have a stabiliser fitted
       D) Use only the left and centre lanes

(Answer below the image)

Answer: D. When towing a trailer you must stick to the left and central lanes of a motorway. Take a look at our guide to towing a caravan if you’re planning on taking a trailer or caravan out soon! 

11. When can you use your horn while your vehicle is stationary?

       A) When a moving vehicle poses a danger
       B) Never
       C) To make a brief sound
       D) To alert someone that you have just arrived

(Answer below image)

Answer: A. If a moving vehicle is causing a hazard, you can sound your horn to alert the driver. 

12. There has been a collision, and one driver is suffering from shock. What should you do?

       A) Give the driver a cigarette
       B) Give the driver a drink
       C) Calm the driver down and reassure him or her
       D) Ask the driver for all the details on what happened

(Answer below image)

Answer: C. Until the emergency services arrive, those in shock should not be given food, drink, or cigarettes, just try to calm them down whilst the emergency services are on their way.

Did you manage to guess each answer correctly?

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