Some people have no problem passing their driving test on their first try. For others, however, it can seem that their license is constantly evading them. While there are many ways that drivers can fail their tests, instructors have noticed the same habits popping up again and again. Here are fifteen of the most common reasons you might be failing your practical test.
It’s not uncommon for nerves to get in the way. But hesitating on the road is a minor fault. Do it enough times and it can lead to a fail.
Make sure there are at least three seconds between you and the car in front of you. If you’re behind a lorry or a van, there should be even more.
When you come to a junction, you need to already have a plan as to how you’re going to handle it. As you approach, glance in both directions, not just one. Even if you have right of way, you need to be aware of potential dangers from all sides.
When you move off the side of the road, ensure you check your blind spots. Even if there’s nothing there and you know it, the instructor will notice if you don’t.
Similarly, be sure to check your blind spots before you start reverse parking. Take the time to ensure there’s no approaching traffic before going into reverse.
Speeding is clearly a no-no but driving too slowly can work against you, too. Pay attention to the speed of the traffic around you. Don’t hold up other drivers.
Take it slow when reversing around a turn. If you hit a kerb or fail to notice traffic, it will count against you.
You need to show effective use of both the wing mirrors and the rear view during the test. Verbalise what you see to make sure the instructor notices.
Failing to indicate is one of the worst habits a driver can develop. Get into the habit of indicating even when no-one is around you.
Don’t cut across when taking the roundabout. Lane discipline is essential, with lane-changing being one of the leading causes of collisions on roundabouts.
Similarly, don’t stay in the overtaking lane unless you are definitely going to overtake the vehicles ahead of you.
On the other hand, don’t slow down on the left lane to let cars on the right overtake you more quickly. You give the driver behind you little time to react.
It’s not uncommon to veer to the left or right a little too much when steering. However, losing control is a major fault. Avoid crossing your arms when you steer. Although it’s not a fault on its own, it’s a common cause of control loss.
Failing to stop for a red light or slow for an amber are clear faults. But failing to move quickly enough on a green can count against you, too.
Finally, show that you’re paying attention to road markings. Know the rules for markings like solid white lines and yellow box junctions in advance.
Take a good hard look at the list above and re-evaluate your habits before your test. You could just make the chance that helps you pass next time.