I would like one important change to the whole driving test: If you sat your test 27 times and failed miserably every time you should be told “it’s not for you, if you go out there in a car alone, you will do untold damage and possibly kill yourself and most likely others”.
If you want to become a pilot you have to do a test that determines how you can process a bombardment of information coming at you from all sides. How can your brain select from the view out the cockpit window, your instrument readouts, what you hear on the radio, what the co-pilot is telling you and sensory feedback from the plane itself, i.e. the controls, which bits of information to focus your concentration on.
Some people do not have the ability to filter. they cannot concentrate on one bit of information alone, they get completely overwhelmed and either panic or freeze. It is not dissimilar in a car.
When doing a right turn, you must take into account what’s behind you, in front of you, and, of course, to the right and left. All this while taking into account how fast you are, what gear you’re in, signaling and possibly arguing with whoever is in the vehicle with you at the time. Some people are great and can do all the above while on the phone (hope the insurance pays).
The same principle comes into action here.
Some people are not able to filter information, they are subjected to a constant torrent of it flooding at them from all angles at all times.
If you see someone approaching a turn and slowing down to 2.5 km/h about 2 miles before they approach the turn while signaling left instead of right, then stop for 5 minutes and finally turn while almost crashing head on into oncoming traffic they didn’t see and continue oblivious to the mess of beeping and swearing they left behind, you can be pretty sure that person has trouble filtering information according to what’s important and not. To them a lamppost on the side of the street has the same priority as a car screaming at them at 100 km/h with lights flashing and horn blaring.
If a pilot fails this test he is told he cannot become a pilot. If a driver fails his test, he repeats it 258 times till he finds a tester kind enough to finally pass him, so he can go out there and wreak havoc.
It’s about time we all stopped regarding driving as a god-given right that entitles each and everyone of us to be on the roads and took testing a bit more serious and introduce retesting to weed out people who are ticking time bombs and will someday kill themselves or a school bus full of children, because they where concentrating on a potted plant by the side of the road instead of the oncoming bus.