Below is a blog post I wrote as I was preparing to take the UK driving test in 2009.  The good news is I passed on the first try with only one fault, that I unhelpfully pointed out to the examiner by shouting, “Oops!” as I did it. 
I’ve been hitting the book lately.  At least, the UK Highway Code.  Americans living in the UK have a year to drive on our US driver’s license, but after the year, the party is over.  To continue the fun in our clown car, we’ll need a full UK driving license.

Getting a US license is a cakewalk compared to the rigors of UK licensure.  There’s a theory test, and an accompanying hazard perception video where one sits at a touch screen and watches a scene, touching all the potential hazards that unfold.  If you pass this hurdle, you may proceed to the practical (driving test).  Most people take driving lessons, not to learn how to drive per se, but to learn how to pass this test.

That said, I’ve been borrowing a friend’s self-study CD, which includes a bank of actual exam questions.  See if you spot the same trend I do:

You arrive at the scene of a crash.  Soemone is bleeding badly from an arm wound.  There is nothing embedded in it.  What should you do?
1. Apply pressure over the wound and raise the arm.
2. Apply pressure over the wound and keep the arm down.
3. Dab the wound.
4. Get them a drink.

Now, consider this question:

You arrive at the scene of an accident.  It just happened and someone is injured.  Which three of the following should be given urgent priority?
1. Check their breathing is OK.
2. Clear their airway and keep it open.
3. Stop any severe bleeding.
4. Get them a warm drink.
5. Look for witnesses.
6. Take numbers of vehicles involved.

I suppose the first question’s drink option could be interpreted as alcoholic and therefore appropriate for a Brit in distress, but I first inferred that this mystery drink of choice would be tea.  The examiners have dreamed up plausible and appealing English options for the multiple choice section, I see.  An American version might include “Call their personal injury attorney right away,” so I am not at all offended by this more genteel option.  In fact, I can easily see an older injured person ignoring the blood and asking for an Earl Grey.  So much the better if there was a piece of cake involved.  And can I blame them?

I mentioned my amusement at the recurrent “tea option” to Chumley, who expressed no surprise whatsoever.  His exact comment was, “Claire!  Tea fixes everything!”  You’d think I’d have gotten it by now.

I shall keep my faithful readers advised on my progress toward licensure.  And just in case, I’ll keep a travel mug of tea at the ready when out motoring.