From 04 June 2018 learner drivers will be permitted to take lessons on the motorway prior to passing their practical driving test but what protection does the law offer drivers if they are involved in a collision?

At present the law says that it is illegal for individuals to drive on a motorway until they have passed their practical driving test. Following successful completion of the practical driving test some driving instructors offer an additional “Pass Plus” course which introduces new drivers to the motorway and familiarises them with entering, driving on and exiting the motorway. This qualification is voluntary but is recognised by some insurers and can result in lower insurance premiums for new drivers.

Following a review into British road safety by the Department for Transport it was felt that learner drivers required the opportunity to experience a greater range of driving experiences, including motorway driving, prior to taking their practical test. It was believed that offering motorway lessons to learner drivers would help to make Britain’s roads safer.

From 04 June 2018 learner drivers will be able to take voluntary lessons on the motorway providing they are in a dual controlled vehicle with an approved driving instructor. The timing of any lessons is at the discretion of the driving instructor and should only be when the learner driver is considered to be competent.

Experienced drivers are encouraged to keep a safe distance from learner drivers and to be patient and remember that learner drivers may not be skilful at anticipating and reacting to events. Despite these precautions, what protection does the law offer you if you are involved in a collision with a learner driver?

Whilst driving on the road all drivers owe a duty of care to other road users not to do anything or avoid doing anything which may result in injury to other road users. All drivers are expected to drive to a reasonable standard and that expectation is the same regardless of whether the driver is a learner driver or not.

In the case of Nettleship v Weston a learner driver was taking a lesson with a friend. As she turned a bend she failed to straighten the wheel as directed resulting in her mounting a kerb and hitting a lamp post causing injury to her friend. The learner driver argued that the standard of care i.e. the standard she should be expected to drive at should be lower because she was a learner driver. The Court decided that even as a learner driver she was expected to meet the same standard of care as a reasonably qualified competent driver.


Here at Jordans Solicitors we have a specialist personal injury team who are experienced in providing advice to victims of road traffic collisions and other accidents which were not your fault. We will work with you to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If you would like to speak with a member of our Personal Injury team to find out how we can help you please call 01924 457 171 or request a callback.

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