Jamie Morton

Jamie Morton is science reporter at the NZ Herald.

Plenty of confusion as one in 10 drivers fails online test

Photo / Amos Chapple
Photo / Amos Chapple

One in 10 people who have taken a popular online test on our new give-way rules answered at least one question wrong - worrying the man who helped design it.

More than 120,000 people have visited the website GiveWay.co.nz and sat a simulation placing them behind the wheel of a Suzuki Grand Vitara in 14 real-life give-way scenarios around suburban Hamilton.

Waikato University road safety researcher Dr Robert Isler, who conceived the test with daughter Nadine Isler, said an analysis of 650 results from last week also found that people took on average five seconds to answer correctly - and 10 seconds to give the wrong answer.

Most of those who stumbled did so at the first scenario - whether to give-way to a left-turning car when turning right from a median.

Many also failed to give way to a cyclist approaching from behind on a cycle lane.

"I think it's still a bit worrying if every 10th question is wrong - that could mean potential confusion and problems."

He added that those who took 20 seconds to answer a question often did not have the luxury to do so in real-life situations.

The test is an extension of e-Drive, a website Mr Isler and his daughter created which includes more than 100 driving scenarios filmed on New Zealand roads. He saw the same concept as a safe and user-friendly way to prepare drivers for the new give-way rules.

"It puts people behind the steering wheel and shows them real video footage, so it's quite realistic."

Mr Isler planned to analyse another sample from this week's test results.

From 5am this Sunday, drivers turning right must give way to oncoming traffic turning left into the same street.

Drivers approaching the end of a road at a T intersection must give way to traffic turning towards them into the road.

Earlier this week, a Herald survey found most of the 67 people approached in Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga knew the changes were coming - but just over half made at least one error in identifying which car should give way when they were presented with three test situations.

People can log on to www.giveway.govt.nzt and take an interactive quiz and view a computer drive-through animation illustrating how the two new rules will work.

- NZ Herald

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