Why it takes intelligent people longer to pass their driving test

New research has found a link between a person’s intelligence and the likelihood of them passing their driving test first time.

‘I failed again’.

The amount of times my mother has heard me speak those words is likely more than most. Poor, poor mum, spending several long hot summers in anxious hope each time she sent me off in a funny little car with a funny little man, all her fingers crossed, commiseratory bottle of beer or celebratory bottle of bubbly ready at hand for when I walked back through the door some hours later.

And then the whole cycle starts up again like some hellish merry-go-round; make sure the instructor hasn’t retired (I had 3 instructors retire before I passed), make sure I have enough shifts at the pub to fund the lessons and the test, make sure my theory test hasn’t expired (it took so long for me to pass, that actually happened) and also make sure that I wasn’t beating myself up over it too much (I always did). From ages 16 to 22, my summers were rudely interrupted by crawling around industrial estates in a variety of small plastic cars, honing my emergency stops, perfecting my parallel parks.

And yet this week, we heard some fascinating news - a study carried out by Privilege DriveXpert has found links between a driver’s qualifications, IQ, professional standing and their chance of passing their driving test first time round. Yes, that’s right. The more intelligent you are, the less likely you will pass your driving test first time round. The brains at Privilege DriveXpert think that this is because those with more academic minds could over think the test, compared to those who take a more practically-minded approach.

After 3 theory tests and 8 practical tests, I finally passed. The backstreets of too many towns are etched in my memory - from Swindon to Chippenham via Gloucester, those backstreets are mine.

If they had carried this test out between my 4th and my 6th driving test, I think I probably never would have passed. I’d be sitting there, smug as anything, heeding not the protests of my mother. Thankfully I passed, and, as it happens, I also might be intelligent. Who would have thought?!

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