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Driving skill found to be ephemeral

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Half of drivers on the roads today think they would struggle to pass their driving test if forced to take it again, according to research.

A survey by the AA Driving School found that key points from the practical and theory parts of the test were lost from the memory of most drivers after about a year.

The poll of 2,000 people found that manoeuvring was the first skill to go, while over a sixth (17%) had almost completely forgotten what they learned about the Highway Code.

The most pessimistic about their chances of passing now were those who qualified between 16 and 25 years ago, with even more (56%) predicting they would fail than those who passed 26 to 50 years ago (55%).

Drivers are being urged to brush up on those lost skills in order to avoid racking up car insurance premiums through unnecessary bumps and collisions.

AA president Edmund King said: "Having passed your driving test, it is easy to forget the key skills that qualify you to be on the road in the first place. Drivers, young or old, often lose confidence if they don't drive frequently.

"Whether you're a university graduate who hasn't driven since passing the test at 17, or a widow whose partner did all the driving, a refresher course can reinforce essential skills and safety."

© Press Association 2009