The Driving Instructors Association and PeopleMaps Launch New Psychometric Profile Test for Learner Drivers

Glasgow 02 October 2008 – The Driving Instructors Association (DIA) today launched a new online service to allow driving instructors to produce psychometric profiles of learner drivers. The new profiling system will allow instructors to develop personalised training programmes for individual candidates, enabling them to identify areas of strength and any weaknesses that need to be addressed

The new service, developed by PeopleMaps, comes during the Government’s current public consultation on ‘Learning to Drive,’ the responses to which will form the basis of what is widely expected to be the biggest reform of the driver training and testing system in the UK since the introduction of the L-test.

Of the 750,000 people who qualify for a full car driving licence each year, three-quarters of are under 25 years old and one in five will have some kind of accident within six months of qualifying. Although the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents in the UK has fallen over the last ten years, the number of new drivers involved in accidents has actually risen

Personality profiling is one key area that campaigners and influencers are becoming increasingly vocal about and the DIA has decided to provide its members with this service without waiting for the outcome of the consultation process.

“The current driving test assesses people’s conventional driving skills – hand/eye/foot coordination, vehicle manoeuvring skills, and very basic knowledge of the rules of the road,” explained Eddie Barnaville, Chief Executive of the DIA. “What it doesn’t take into account is a driver’s attitude towards driving – and the way drivers think is the most vital part of safe driving.

“Many young drivers have a poor attitude to safe and responsible driving. Many see themselves as risk takers, happy to break the speed limit or jump a red light. Psychometric profiling will help instructors identify these traits, and allow them to modify their training to deal with them.”

The benefits of using psychometric profiling in driving instruction are already recognised, with a number of professional driving trainers and commercial operators using it regularly. For example, Arriva operates more than 6,500 buses in the UK and uses a psychometric test to assess new drivers, who face a one in two chance of being involved in a collision in their first year.

In the last four years, while the tests have been in use, the company has seen fatalities involving its buses reduced by 31%.

Keystone Distribution, the exclusive supplier to all McDonald’s restaurants in the UK and which has over a thousand lorry drivers on the road, uses the psychometric report to help them to understand what may have happened if a driver has an accident – and how it may be prevented in the future.

The company has also established a personality ‘benchmark’ and uses this in its recruitment process to help to identify drivers that have a similar personality to existing drivers with excellent safety records. Reported accidents have fallen by 75% since the company introduced the profiling system.

The developer of the Keystone report was online psychometric profiling company PeopleMaps.

“The system evaluates the driver’s personality in terms of how it could impact on his ability as a driver. For example, one of the main focuses is on the driver’s levels of concentration and patience, both essential qualities of a good driver. It also highlights which individual personality traits could lead to them driving badly too,” said Martin Gibbons, Chief Executive of PeopleMaps.

“As the system is entirely web-based it also makes it very quick and simple to complete. But most importantly there is no ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ with the test: the process is designed solely so that trainers know what type of training is needed, where to focus it and how to deliver it effectively to suit each individual driver.”

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PeopleMaps has been used for a wide range of applications. For instance if you want to see your dating profile you can access it here.

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