People spend a lot of time and money learning to drive to earn their life changing full driving licence. How is it that nationally over half of them will fail? This is a ludicrous statistic, but unfortunately true.
Let’s have a look at the 10 essential skills that cause the most problems on the driving test that lead to disappointment.
They are in no particular order, as falling down on any of them will lead to a driving test fail.
1. Control when moving off.
Your car must be fully controlled when moving off. The most common faults are regularly stalling (and not securing the car properly for a restart), rolling backwards on a slope, trying to move off in neutral, or with the handbrake still on. Also make sure the car is in neutral before starting it, as it will stall if in gear.
2. Moving off safely.
Observation is key here. Look around thoroughly and check your blind spots. Having checked, act upon what you see! If you have given a signal, (you don’t usually need to if you have checked properly) make sure it’s the correct signal! Not left!
3. Use of mirrors.
The old favourite from your driving lessons. Sadly it’s still a major cause of unsuccessful tests. The faults range from not checking them when required, not checking before increasing your speed and checking too late. You must also act properly on the information gathered from your mirror checks. Be sure to use your door mirrors correctly as well as the main rear view mirror.
Surprisingly, steering still features in the top ten faults. Correct use of the steering wheel is crucial as well as keeping a steady, accurate course.
This often comes down to lane discipline. Keep in the middle of your lane, correctly position on approach to roundabouts, keep a correct position on the roundabout, with no “straight lining” and avoid straddling the line markings.
6. Observation at junctions.
Proper observation at junctions will prevent you from emerging into the path of vehicles, cyclists, riders and pedestrians. Unless you’re certain, have another look! Make sure it’s safe.
7. Turning right at junctions.
Positioning correctly is very important. Avoid cutting corners. If you have to stop, get up to the line, don’t stop short. Watch for other vehicles, riders, cyclists and pedestrians.
8. Response to traffic lights.
They’re everywhere aren’t they. Traffic lights. Make sure you understand not just the red, amber, green sequences, but positioning and use of green filter lights and the procedure relating to flashing amber lights. Stay at the stop line when you must and do not stop beyond the stop line.
9. Response to road markings.
There are a multitude of road markings and you must understand them all to be safe. The most common test faults are problems with crossing solid white lines, when not permitted (which is most of the time) incorrect use of box junctions, entering when your exit is blocked and not entering when you can stop inside (if you are turning right and only oncoming traffic makes you stop). Direction arrows and one way street signs also cause confusion. Make sure you are confident with positioning in one way streets.
10. Reverse Parking.
Practise enough so that you get it right first time. Slight adjustments are OK, but complete misjudgement or loss of control will get marked down.
These ten faults which are the most common causes of test failure should not be a problem for a professionally trained driver, as they are the basics of safe driving, so if you are unsure of your driving, or want a positive start in learning to drive, come to John Lowe Driving for your lessons. We have a pass rate of 80%!