Common Fails During A Practical Driving Test

Learn how to avoid these common mistakes.

When you’re taking your practical driving test, this can feel like the most nerve-wracking moment of your life. However, it shouldn’t be – remember your driving instructor wouldn’t put you forward for your test if they didn’t feel like you were ready.

Here at CarCliq, we highlight the common fails during a practical driving test and how you can avoid them.
 
Junctions
The reason many fail at junctions is that there’s a ton of factors you need to take in and visibility can be difficult.

However, to avoid failure: remember Mirror, Signal, Position, Speed and Look (the MSPL system) when you approach junctions and check your mirrors in good time. When exiting the junction, also remember to be looking in the direction the car is travelling.

Reversing manoeuvres
Remember when completing a reversing manoeuvre, or any manoeuvre for that matter, to take it slow. The pressure can ramp up, but keep your cool and speed down as this means you have more control of the car.
 
Response to road signs and traffic lights
Your driving instructor would have told you this countless times, but always make sure you look well ahead, especially for signs and signals.

Learner drivers have failed or received a minor for not noticing changes in speed limits or not changing the according to speed before the sign e.g. if you are coming from a 50mph zone and entering a 30mph area, please slow down before the sign. The same applies to when entering a higher limit area.

Positioning
When entering busier roundabouts, learner drivers are often caught out because they haven’t looked at signs earlier enough. By not doing so, this can lead to them being in the wrong lane.

Therefore, our advice is to stay alert and keep your eye out for any road signs. Also, it’s important to note that you will not be penalised if you enter a different lane to what your examiner has specified, as long as you drive safely.
Mirrors and blind spots
This is one of the most common flaws found in the driving test, as it’s an easy thing to forget. However, make it second nature to you before your driving test. With your mirrors, make sure you check your interior and the appropriate door mirror before passing obstacles.

Crossing lanes
If at any point of your practical driving test you should cross the path of oncoming traffic, make sure you have enough time to complete the manoeuvre. We say you must do this with enough time, as causing another vehicle to swerve or slow down is a guaranteed fail.
 
Nerves
Start as you mean to go on! Keep your mindset positive when approaching the driving test, as nerves can eat you up alive and could leave you making silly mistakes you don’t usually do.

We suggest just visualise and paint a picture in your mind of you passing your test, the feelings you’ll have and hearing the words “We’re pleased to say you’ve passed!”.


To conclude, we hope you now know the common fails during a practical driving test and how you can avoid them. If you are soon to be taking your practical driving test, we wish you the best of luck and make sure you keep calm. You’re going to be great!

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