Only half of learner drivers in Australia feel ready for their test, according to a survey by the RAC.

RAC’s Driver Licensing Survey found 50 percent of learners felt “not at all”, “slightly” or “moderately” prepared before sitting their first Practical Driving Assessment, with professional driving instructors estimating 61 percent of learner drivers are taking the test before they’re ready.

Less than half of novice drivers surveyed passed the practical test on their first attempt. Most of those who failed said nerves were a factor.

RAC General Manager Public Policy and Mobility Anne Still says learners should not be rushing to get behind the wheel before they feel ready.

“Getting their licence is an incredibly exciting time in a young person’s life but safe driving skills take time and experience to develop,” she said. “An alarming number of young drivers are being killed and seriously injured on our roads, with those aged 17 to 25 at a particularly high risk.

“Ensuring we’re creating safer drivers and encouraging safe behaviours needs to be the absolute priority — this includes exposing learners to a range of road conditions and driving situations.”

Driving instructors named the top three most difficult tasks for learners as parallel parking, reverse parking and driving near pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.