17 Jul Why is it so “easy” to get a driver’s license?
About 40,000 people die every single year in traffic accidents in the US. This is a staggering number when compared to the 110 yearly fatalities in Norway, even when we account for the fact that Norway holds 5 million citizens, and the US, about 330 million.
Needless to say, there are a lot of idiots out in traffic. How did they even get their driver’s license, one would start wondering, when accidents happen this often.
We wanted to find out more about what’s causing these numbers. Early in our research, we were pointed towards the fact that it might be too easy to get a driver’s license.
Why might it be too easy? Below, we will share some of our findings.
We think drivers will improve with time
As opposed to popular belief, not all Americans are born to be good drivers. This is not only true for the US, but for every country.
Making it easy to get a driver’s license, and believing that drivers will simply improve with time presents a big hazard out in traffic. It doesn’t matter how good a driver you are if you meet someone who isn’t.
Becoming a good driver takes time and effort, and we can’t be too lenient when it comes to the difficulty of gaining a driver’s license.
The theory exams are made too easy
In most theory exams for the driving test, students are presented with multiple-choice tests. This naturally makes it easier to pass the test, because even if you didn’t know the answer, you might get it right by pure luck.
Since Norway is a country with very few fatalities in traffic (at least compared to the US), we wanted to know more about why this is so. Therefore, we emailed companies like Bestått.no that provides free demos of theory exams in order to help people gain their driver’s licenses. Here is what they answered, in their own words (we will share the English version below):
“Siden det er så enkelt å ta teoriprøven i dag, så ville vi motvirke de dårlige følgene dette kan ha med tanke på trafikkulykker som skyldes uvitenhet. (Tenk bare hvor farlig det kan være om noen kommer i full fart inn i et kryss hvor de har vikeplikt, uten å vite at de har det.) Derfor satte vi opp en demo for teoriprøve bil som folk kan bruke for å faktisk vite svaret på flersvars-prøvene.
In English, this basically means that in order to prevent the many traffic fatalities that occur because people don’t really know the traffic rules, Bestått.no made a test demo that helps them with actually knowing the rules. This is quite different from simply clicking the correct box in a multiple-choice theory exam, where you might really know the answer, or you might just be lucky.
Fail as much as you want
When it comes to the actual driver’s test, where driving students are out in traffic, it doesn’t ultimately matter if they first on the first, or the third, or the twelfth attempt. In most countries, they can try as many times as they want, as long as they have the motivation and money to do so.
To summarize our findings, here are some of the biggest reasons that it’s so easy to get a driver’s license:
- We think that drivers will improve with time
- The theory exams are made too easy
- You can fail as much as you want