FOLLOWING the announcement of planned driving test changes to help reduce the number of young people being killed in collisions Cooper BMW looked to see if pop-culture plays its part in encouraging dangerous habits. Which let’s face it is, nuts, but fun. A film is just that, made up and if someone chooses to copy what they have seen in a fantasy then perhaps they should be undergoing medical treatment. But hey, we will go along with this.

Looking back at some of the most well-known car chase scenes in cinema history, including Back To The Future, Bullitt, and Tomorrow Never Dies, with actors such as Steve McQueen and Vin Diesel, Cooper BMW has investigated if the characters from famous movies would pass or fail their driving test.

Car chases are what being an action star is all about but what is the impact of these risky driving behaviours on the generations of tomorrow?

A study of 2000 young people in the U.S, lead by Evelien Kostermans of the Radboud University Nijmegen, has determined that those who watch more movies which feature reckless driving whilst growing up were more inclined to express similarly dangerous driving habits later in adulthood.

From extremely hazardous behaviours like tailgating, speeding and dangerous overtaking to common bouts of road rage, there are a number of habits that really wind up the public and can lead to fatal accidents – a number of which are publicised in iconic blockbuster street races. This poses the question, should movies be rated with a reckless driving certification (RD) to allow parents to make a more informed decision about children’s media diet?

Steve McQueen handles the streets of San Francisco in iconic style, while Nicolas Cage just about gets away with it in Gone in 60 – but how did they do when it came down to Dr Lisa Dorn analysing their driving skills?

Only Mike Myers came out with a pass following his efforts in 1997’s Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. The worst performer is Jason Statham in The Transporter (2002), with seven minors and five major faults. We have to disagree with the following assessment, not least because ex-Free Car Mag cover star Jason is one of our favourites, plus he is driving a 7 Series identical to the Free Car Mag Shed 7 which sadly passed away this year…anyway…with expert commentary from Dr Lisa Dorn, Associate Professor of Driver Behaviour Centre for Structures, Assembly and Intelligent Automation, she concludes, “Jason insists that his passengers are wearing their seatbelt but then disables them as he puts their lives at risk. This kind of behaviour suggests he may possess some of the characteristics of a psychopath.”

Find out how all of the movie stars compare: