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Main Reasons to Fail Your Driving Test – Part 2

 In Driving Lessons, Driving Test, Motoring, News, Road Safety

In the first part of this blog we discussed that good preparation and coping with test day nerves are extremely important factors in passing your test. In this part we discuss the technical reasons as per the marking sheet why your might fail your test.

Tests are marked using 3 criteria: 1- minor driver faults (things you should have done but by doing so your actions didn’t effect anyone). 2- serious driver faults (things you did that could have affected someone or which were illegal). 3- dangerous driver faults (things you did causing imminent danger to yourself or other road users). You will fail if you get 1 or more serious or dangerous driver faults but can pass with up to 15 minor driver faults.

Main reasons for failing your driving test

1- Poor Observation

This is the most common reason for failing, with lack of blind spot checks before moving off being marked most frequently. Take your time before pulling off. The examiner will always ask you to drive off when you are ready. He will never say Go! Don’t rush or feel pressured to go once asked to do so. Check (and double check if needed) your blind spots and be sure moving the car doesn’t interfere with another road users journey. Also be careful especially at busy junctions to check properly before proceeding. Ask yourself how you would cross the road if on foot… you would look properly in all directions… so do it whilst driving too!

2 – Signalling

Make sure give accurate signals in a timely manner. Remember other road users need to know what you are doing so that they can continue their journeys safely. Ask yourself if the car behind you for example knows what you are doing, if not tell them!

3- Mirrors

Ask yourself where BOB or MOM is. BOB is the boy on the bike who could be anywhere, especially on your near side. So check you left mirror before moving the car left. MOM is the man on the motorbike who might be overtaking you at any time. Check your right mirror when moving the car right. And finally make sure you check your centre mirror before changing speed. You don’t want the car who is tailgating you to have to emergency stop because you have slammed your brakes on without checking his position.

4 – Clearance

Examiners can often be quite picky on how much clearance you give other road users; from parked cars to horses. You need to give adequate clearance. Make sure you pull out early enough without shaving the hazard and make sure your speed is appropriate. Narrower the gap; slower the speed.

5 – Manoeuvres

I am clumping all the manoeuvres together in one section as in essence the examiners are looking for the same things on each manoeuvre (that’s why you only get one manoeuvre on test). Make sure you are effectively observing throughout the manoeuvre and give right of way to other road users during the manoeuvre. Ask yourself if the other road user has seen you (he knows if you have seen him if you are not moving,  so be patient when doing the manoeuvre). Also they are looking for control of the vehicle during the manoeuvre. Control your speed and steering throughout. And finally finish in the correct position and if you have to correct it please do it in a safe manner.

6- Response to road markings and traffic signs/signals

Again I am putting these two things together as although they are marked on separate parts of the marking sheet they are in essence the same thing. Make sure you demonstrate you know the rules of the road. Ie have you shown you understand what a red traffic light is or a change of speed limit for example.

7 – Steering

Sounds like a simple thing to do but show you can follow the contours of the road and don’t let go of the wheel.

8 – Positioning

Don’t drive too close to the kerb and make sure you are in the correct position when turning right for example.

9 – Appropriate speed and progress

In essence get on with it! Driving too slowly (or too fast) for the speed limit and road/weather conditions is important to demonstrate.

Overall, keep the drive simple. Don’t over complicate the journey and above all take your time. You have done all the hard work in your learning so you can enjoy your test day driver… yes enjoy it.

If you are at the test centre you have shown your driving instructor that you deserve to be there, so now show the examiner. Good luck!

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