Nothing beats ripping off your L-plates and getting into a car for the first time without a driving instructor. However, failing a driving test can throw a wrench in the works of those long-awaited road trips and cause a severe setback to your confidence. While your driving instructor will do their best to prepare you for the driving test, several blunders are too easy to make, especially if you have test day jitters. And let’s be honest – most people do. Therefore, to help you crush your next driving test, we carefully curated a list of the most common practical driving test faults, and we’ll explain how to avoid them.
Junctions – observation
This is one of the most common practical driving test faults. The examiner will look for how well you handle intersections and display crucial observation abilities. According to experts, the key is to give yourself enough time to mentally go through what you need to do at intersections and to start taking action on time.
Examiners will check for mistakes such as just gazing in one way while emerging from a junction, not moving gently forward when you should make proper observations, and emerging when traffic is too near or too fast, or into the path of other vehicles. Approaching a junction might feel like one of the more stressful aspects of the practical driving test when you’re anxious. So, get lots of practice while you are in driving school on different intersections throughout your driving lessons to ensure you feel secure and confident on the exam day.
Mirrors – change direction
Driving becomes smoother, simpler, and safer when you use your mirrors properly. However, failing to use them correctly is a rookie error that might result in a failed driving test.
Here is how and when to utilize mirrors:
- Before performing any substantial manoeuvre, such as changing direction, signalling, or withdrawing from a stationary position.
- Prior to a shift in pace.
- Continuously check your surroundings while you drive to ensure you’re fully aware of your surroundings. This includes utilizing your rearview mirror as well as your door mirrors.
On the other hand, you should avoid using mirrors to look at something other than the road while driving. The rearview mirror should be angled to see the vehicles behind you rather than your reflection.
Control – steering
While learning to handle a car with the proper steering motion is one of the first things you’ll work on when you get behind the wheel, the examiner will be checking for a variety of factors to ensure you’re totally in control. These include where you place and retain your hands on the steering wheel and gear shift and how you manage the steering through turns and manoeuvres. They will also look for risky behaviours such as leaning on the window ledge and letting the steering wheel spin back after turning. When it comes to mirror checks, keeping an eye on how you maintain control of the car may seem so fundamental when you take your driving test that it’s not worth thinking about. However, it’s wise to keep them in mind under test conditions.
Junctions – turning right
Poorly navigating junctions is one of the most common practical driving test faults people make these days. The examiner will look for various problems, such as placement over centre lines that are acceptable for the width of the road and moving over to use lanes for turning when possible. Some intersections are more complex than others, with road layouts and signs that make even experienced drivers wonder if they’re doing the correct thing. It’s critical, especially if you’re nervous, to analyze the situation using the knowledge you’ve gained from classes and to pay great attention to traffic signs and markings. If you’re not confident in this part of your driving, practice will help you get there.
Failing to respond to road signs & markings
Of course, you must demonstrate that you comprehend and react appropriately to various traffic markings throughout your practical driving test. These include road lines and lane markings, box junctions, bus, and bike lanes, stop and give way lines at intersections and pedestrian crossings, traffic reduction, and parking road markings.
Observing traffic signs even when you are not driving is a fantastic way to develop the habit of paying attention to them. You may get a lot of practice just thinking about the markings you see and how you would react to them when walking down the street or riding in another vehicle. Make a note to check with your driving instructor if you’re ever confused about what to do.
Moving off – safely
Being able to move off safely is an essential ability for safeguarding both yourself and other road users. Unfortunately, it’s one of our country’s most common practical driving test faults. One of the first things you must learn to drive a car is how to pull away from a parked position. However, by the time you take your test, it may be one of the fundamentals you forget, especially when you are nervous. The primary goal of passing your driving test is to demonstrate that you are a safe driver. Thus, the examiner will be watching closely to see whether you make observations of the front and rear of the car before driving away. Driving instructors advise you to ensure the examiner sees you performing these checks.
Poor positioning – normal driving
Under typical driving conditions, wrongly positioning the automobile is a flaw that frustrates drivers throughout East Anglia and the United Kingdom. The examiner will specifically check that you are not too close to the left-hand curb or too far out towards the centre of the road and that you are not moving in and out between parked automobiles. You may think about your positioning in early sessions as you learn how the car reacts to your control. However, it’s crucial to remember this even as you get more confident behind the wheel.
Reverse park – lack of control
You may be instructed to show a parallel park on the side of the road, park in a bay, or pull up on the right-hand side, reverse for two vehicle lengths and rejoin traffic during your test.
Whatever manoeuvre you perform, the examiner will want to know that you have enough control over the vehicle to get into the correct position to perform it safely. The examiner will also notice that you have excellent observation skills and accomplish tasks at a reasonable speed while keeping other road users in mind. Inadequate clutch control, stalling the engine, extreme acceleration, poor manoeuvring, getting too close to other cars or striking the curb, or failing to finish at an adequate angle are all things the examiner will be looking for.
Bad response to traffic lights
Knowing your traffic signs is not just required for your theory test. You must, of course, be able to use this information in actual life. Thankfully, most driving instructors will train you to pay attention to traffic lights. The examiner will be looking to determine if you can obey traffic signals that give directives and react correctly to other signs that give warnings, directions, or additional information. You may receive extra practice while you are out and about or as a passenger in another car, ensuring you understand and know what to do with signs you encounter in your lessons and mock examinations.
Making these practical driving test faults is relatively common, and most people learn to overcome them. Unfortunately, even the tiniest mistakes can cost you your driving license. There is one thing you need to remember – feeling anxious is normal, and all you need to do is think about how you’ve been over these things and roads many times and that you know what you’re doing. Keep calm, and you’ll pass that driving test!
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