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Learner Drivers, Instructors and Car Accident Claims

In addition to all the usual requirements, there are certain requirements that must be met before a learner driver can even drive under supervision:

  • The learner driver MUST hold a valid provisional license
  • The supervisor MUST be over the age of 21
  • They must hold a full driving license for the type of car being driven
  • They must have held that license for at least 3 years
  • The vehicle must display red L plates

Once these requirements have been met, you are free to drive whilst supervised!

However, you will not be permitted to drive on the motorway as a learner driver on a provisional driver’s license.

Depending on the specific circumstances, the supervisor of the learner driver and the vehicle can be held 100% negligent or partially to blame for a collision that occurs.

This was the case in Rubie V Faulkner, where the supervisor was convicted of aiding and abetting a driver in the commission of driving without due care and attention.

In this case the driver pulled out to overtake a horse and cart when it was not safe to do so (on a bend) and collided with a lorry coming in the opposite direction.

The supervisor of the learner vehicle could fully see the road ahead and failed to take control in an attempt to stop the collision occurring.

The court held that he could have said “do not overtake in this area” or could have shouted, “keep in” when the learner driver attempted to overtake.

On the other hand, a case of Lovelace V Fossum, a driving instructor was giving his friend driving lessons. They were travelling in wet, slippery weather conditions and the instructor gave the instruction to slow down before a bend – this was followed. The instructor repeated the instruction to slow down when they were about 90 feet from the bend but the driver didn’t hear the instruction and lost control of the vehicle which skidded off the road.

The court found both the instructor and the learner driver equally to blame for the accident as the instructor failed to manage the situation safely and the learner driver failed to use the best skill he possessed to obey the instructor.

Conclusion:
A majority of cases find both the learner driver and instructor equally to blame if an accident occurs. This is because they are thought to be equally concerned in driving and must together maintain the same measure of control over the car unless there is evidence to prove one of them are fault to blame for the car accident.

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