A new driver just completed the driving test and got a pass from the examiner. However, while going back to the office, the new driver makes a rolling stop at a stop interval. What happens next is something the driver certainly did not anticipate. The driver’s pass was revoked and just like that everything turned into dust. What a silly mistake! If only the driver knew the test is not over until the examiner is out of the car. Like a fish that is caught on a hook after getting tricked by bait, such blunders are very common among clueless candidates. But you can always be wiser if you know the silly mistakes you ought to avoid.
- Mirror, mirror on the wall, don’t forget to check them all- The examiner will get into the car, ask for your papers before instructing you to drive. However, just before you do anything, you have to make sure the examiner sees you checking the mirrors. Of course, that comes after adjusting the seats and putting on the safety belt. Even after driving out of the parking lot, you have to constantly check your mirrors but in a calculated move. At all cost, make sure the examiner notices you checking the mirror
- Doing a sloppy car inspection- Yes, you have inspected the headlights, windshield, tail-lights, and wiper to make sure everything is okay. But have you tested the brake pedals? What about the hand-brakes? Does the car horn work? Is the car neat and clean? If the examiner notices anything wrong with your car, that will be the end of your driving test. Even a broken tail-light or a non-functioning wiper can get you an automatic fail.
- Stalling at a green light- It is not unusual for candidates to stare at the wrong traffic lights. It is understandable that it can be confusing for a new driver at intersections with so many traffic lights at different positions. But the examiner will hear none of it if you delay to proceed at a green light. If there are cars behind you, you will probably cause a traffic jam. Failure to proceed at a green light sign could also be a symptom of driving test nerves. The silver lining is there are effective ways you can deal with driving test nerves.
- Improper parallel parking- You can be as sure as the sun setting in the west the driving test will not end without the examiner testing your parallel parking ability. Apart from analyzing your observation when parallel parking, the examiner will be keen to see if you will run over the curb or hit other cars. The minute you do that, don’t be surprised when you get a fail.
- Forgetting to signal- It is better to over-signal than to under-signal. You do not just signal when you’re making a turn but also when switching lanes on the highway. Always signal in advance to indicate to whoever is behind that you’re about to change lanes. Keep in mind that signaling should be coordinated with checking your mirrors and blind spots before proceeding any further.
- Dangerous Freeway Merging- If the examiner takes you to the freeway, don’t stop at the entrance ramp. It is not only dangerous but you could be lucky if the examiner lets you continue the test after that. While merging, you should use the entrance ramp to get your car to the same speed as the highway traffic you will be merging into. Afterwards, activate your signal, check your mirrors for blind spots and move in when it is clear.
- Ignoring the speed limit- During the driving test, don’t give in to peer pressure and speed like the rest of other drivers on the road. Usually, most of them drive past the speed limit. It is not unusual to see a car that is probably driving 80kph on a 50kph speed limit road. But remember, you’re the one taking the driving test. Driving too slow is just as bad as driving too fast. Just drive within the speed limit and the examiner will be impressed. However, if the weather is too harsh like excessive rain, fog or a nearby accident, it is okay to slow down for precaution.
- Poor timing- There are drivers who have a habit of making a turn without spacing out enough distance between oncoming vehicles. It is no different from overtaking on a two-lane road while there is an oncoming car in the opposite direction that is too close. The worst scenario is a fatal collision and that is the last thing you want on a driving test. If you’re making a turn or overtaking, make sure the oncoming cars do not need to step on the brakes abruptly to avoid hitting you. Don’t be that impatient driver who everybody hates on the road.
Above everything else, listen to your inner voice. For instance, when an examiner says ‘make a turn there’, don’t be shy to ask for clarity by asking ‘right or left?’ Sometimes people fail due to misunderstanding instructions. Perhaps it could be you’re going a certain speed and the examiner tells you to speed up a little bit. Eventually, you find yourself going past the speed limit and that is how you get a fail. Listen to your instincts! If the examiner is not wearing a seat belt, remind the examiner to buckle up.