Top 10 Driving Test Mistakes

Everyone would like to pass their driving test first time but when this doesn’t happen, its normally down to simple mistakes. To give you the best possible chance of passing your driving test, we have asked our senior driving instructor to explain the most common ones.

Junction Observations

This is a very common mistake which with practice can be easily rectified. It involves not correctly observing the situation and poor judgement. For example when approaching a roundabout you need to be aware of who has the right of way.

The best way to overcome this situation is to prepare as you approach the junction. Take a look at the surroundings and road signs. Only proceed when it is safe and there is clear space between you and other road users. Your driving instructor should give you plenty of practice at different junctions to help you prepare.

Reverse Parking Observation & Control

Common failures on this one involve not carrying it out safely and not having control of the car.

The reverse park is one of the manoeuvres you are likely to come across in your driving test. You should only start this manoeuvre when you wont be obstructing any other vehicles. As you progress you need keep an eye on the road for any road users approaching.

Make sure you have control of the car, completing the manoeuvre too quickly could result in failure. Use clutch control and the brakes to smoothly move the car into position.

Not Checking them Mirrors

Regular checking of your mirrors is the key here, you will receive a number of minors that will result in a major if not. You need to make these observations when you are changing direction or slowing the vehicle down. Use the relevant mirrors and make sure you are aware of the surroundings.

Reacting to hazards that may arise wil be made easier if you have a picture of whats going on around you. This will show your examiner you are safely in control of the vehicle.

Reverse Around the Corner Observation & Control

Not observing other road users and poor control of the car are common mistakes.

Before you begin the manoeuvre you need to check there are no vehicles approaching. As you proceed, keep checking around in all directions. Slowly manoeuvre the car around the corner using clutch control. Show the examiner you are in control of the car at all times.

Incorrect Signals

This normally involves not cancelling or incorrect use of your indicators.

You need to make sure your indicators are cancelled otherwise it will be misleading to other road users. When turning or stopping at the side of the road, make sure you pass any other junctions before signalling.

Signals should be used when stopping or moving off and changing direction.

Not Moving Away Correctly

Throughout your test you will have to move away from stationary positions. The main reason for failing this procedure is poor observations. You need to check in all directions before moving off and make sure you are signalling correctly.

Incorrect Road Position

This relates to the wrong position on a straight or bend and when negotiating roundabouts.

You need to make sure you are positioned around midway between the left hand kerb and centre dividing line. Closer to the left hand kerb would be the perfect postion. Faults will be recorded by the examiner if they feel you are not positioned correctly.

With roundabouts make sure you are in the correct lane. If turning left or going straight ahead then you need to be in the left hand lane. If you pass the 12 o’clock position and are taking a third or last exit, then position yourself in the right lane.

Poor Steering Control When Turning Corners

A common mistake is going around corners to fast. This can result in a loss of control and drifting towards the other side of the road. You also need to be careful when exiting T Junctions, the shape of these kerbs can be sharp, which means you need to take extra care not to drive over the kerb.

Incorrect Road Position When Turning Right

For example when on a one way street you can use the right side of the road. Many pupils stay to the left instead of heading to the right side, causing incorrect road positioning.

Another example would be when you turn right off a main road, sometimes there are marked areas to wait in. Many pupils don’t position the car in them causing confusion to other road users.

  • Hesitation Causing Delay

This normally involves not pulling out promptly at roundabouts and junctions. Waiting too long at junctions can frustrate other road users and cause them to do some silly actions such as try and overtake you when it may not be safe.

Although its good practice to make sure the road is clear before pulling out, it can cause problems if you wait to long. To solve this you should read the road well ahead and anticipate safe gaps.

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