Stitches to the head is just one of the injuries testing officers have faced when a novice driver crashes on their practical driving test.

Whiplash, a shoulder injury and a back injury were the other injuries officers received doing their job over the last year, revealed information released from the NZ Transport Agency under the Official Information Act.

The report stated that four serious crashes had occurred in 2014 to 2015 while a driver was taking their restricted or full driving licence test. That number increased to six for the 2015 to 2016 financial year.

NZTA don't report on every crash as minor collisions are handled by the testing providers.


Out of the six crashes over the last financial year two were in Auckland and Canterbury and one happened in Waikato and Southern. Five of these testing officers received minor injuries with two needing medical attention and time off work.

The pass rate sits around 61 per cent for the restricted licence and 68 per cent for the full licence. The younger you are the more like you are to pass. August pass rates show 67 per cent of 16 year olds pass which decreases to 36 per cent for the over 65s.

Women are more likely to pass with 70 per cent getting their licence while only 66 per cent of men pass the test.

NZ Transport Agency's national manager Robyn Elston said there were several factors which influenced pass rates, which included the individual's preparedness for the test.

"The most important determining factor for each individual driver's likelihood of passing the test is how much that driver has practised and prepared for the test."

She said the national pass rate for the "more challenging" restricted license practical test had increased from 40 per cent, after its introduction in 2012, to more than 60 per cent.

"The Transport Agency's focus is on quality and consistency in testing (and therefore on ensuring safe drivers), not on pass rates."