Most people get nervous before taking a test of any kind, and the driving test is no exception. Whether you are a student, new adult driver, or simply retaking the test after some time, you are probably feeling a bit anxious, and doing your best to study and be sure you will pass your upcoming driving test. In addition to preparing to answer all of the questions about things you should know, one of the things you should consider is common reasons people fail the test. This can help you to pay closer attention to these common mistake areas. Here is a list of common reasons people fail a driving test.
- Inappropriate actions at junctions: This can include failure to observe, approaching too fast, and incorrect positioning. Additionally, be sure you are confident about the right-of-way law. If you are the only vehicle at the intersection, then you’ll only need to come to a stop before proceeding on your way. However, if you and another car reach the intersection at the same time, whoever is farther to the right is allowed to go first. At “T” intersections, the cars on the through street have right of way. Also, never change lanes in an intersection!
- Turning right: This seems like a fairly basic step, and of course something you will be doing quite regularly on the road. So what are people doing wrong? The proper procedure is to position your vehicle toward the center line, keep up your observations, slow down (5mph or less), maintain good clutch control, and time your exit carefully.
- Incorrect use of mirrors: You should be checking your mirrors when changing direction (before signaling), changing lanes, and when changing speed. Don’t forget about shoulder-checking your blind spot when appropriate.
- Inappropriate use of speed: Many drivers fail to maintain correct speeds – and not just going too fast, either. A large percentage of drivers actually drive too SLOW during the test. This is most likely due to nerves, but it will still count against you! Be confident in your abilities before scheduling your test and pay close attention to speed limit signs during your test.
- Poor reversing skills: This can include not looking all around, lack of accuracy, being too far from the curb, mounting or hitting the curb, for example.
- Failure to stop when appropriate: The most common mistake made here is a “rolling stop,” wherein a driver will slow significantly, but fail to actually come to a full stop at a stop sign or red light.
- Following too closely: Be sure you are maintaining a distance of a few car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you. This is a common cause for accidents, as you need time to react if the car in front of you brakes unexpectedly. On a similar note, drivers often fail to maintain a reasonable safety margin when passing moving and parked vehicles, cyclists and other hazards.
While this is certainly not a comprehensive list, and you should be sure to study and fully comprehend ALL aspects of your driving test, perhaps this information will bolster your confidence once you have mastered these common mistakes. Students who have taken taken professional driving lessons perform dramatically better on their first attempt. Additionally, it’s advised that you schedule a driving lesson immediately prior to taking your test to ensure you are fully prepared and focused.