ICBC says people’s driving knowledge needs improvement.
Three weeks ago it launched the “Drive Smart Refresher Test,” a 20-question online quiz targeting people who have held their driver’s license for several years or even decades. So far more than 45,000 British Columbians have taken the test, but the results show that if the refresher were the real learner’s licence test – where 80 per cent is a pass – over 40 per cent of people would fail.
The questions people had the most difficulty with included what to do around emergency vehicles, minimum following distances and the meaning of road signs.
Signs that appeared to be particularly confusing for participants related to crosswalks, school zones and road obstructions.
Questions related to texting and driving produced far more correct answers, despite the fact over 34,000 drivers were ticketed for using an electronic device in 2017.
“What’s just as important as knowing the rules of the road is putting them into practice whenever you drive,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s interim vice-president responsible for road safety, in a statement. “No matter how many years of experience you have under your belt, we can all benefit from shedding bad driving habits and refreshing our knowledge.”
The refresher test came out after the number of crashes peaked in B.C. 2017, with 350,000 crashes per year, or 960 crashes per day. Insurance claims totalled $4.8 billion in 2017.
“On one hand we were quite pleased that 45,000 people took the test, but not happy that 40 per cent failed,” said ICBC’s Joanna Linsangan, “But at same time, the average score was 79 per cent, one point away from passing. The key takeaway was that a lot of us have forgotten a thing or two, and we could all use a tune-up when it comes to the rules of the road.”
If you think you could use a refresher yourself, head to icbc.com/drivesmart.