The freedom that comes with a driver’s license is one of the best feelings in the world, but before you can get on the road, you need to pass your driver’s test. Every examiner knows that a few missteps are bound to happen, but there are some driving mistakes that can lead to an automatic failure no matter how well you did on the rest of the practical exam or the written test. Make sure you pass the first time by avoiding these common mistakes.
1. Rolling Stops
One of the first things you will learn about at driving school is that you need to come to a complete stop at all stop signs and red lights. While you might be used to seeing people slow down at signs or “roll” through them, this is considered an incomplete stop. Be sure to bring the vehicle to a full stop before the line and always look both ways before continuing.
2. Changing Lanes and Forgetting Turn Signals
You will be required to change lanes during the driver’s test, which can be a nerve-wracking experience for first-time drivers since there’s a lot to focus on. When you do need to change lanes, first turn on your turn signal, then check all of your mirrors, turn your head to look for motorcycles or other vehicles in your blind spot, then smoothly shift your car to the next lane while keeping the same speed.
3. Driving Too Fast or Slow
The day of the test can make you feel anxious. Some people react to this by speeding up and others react by slowing down too much. Both are considered dangerous and will earn you a lower mark on your score. Drive with confidence and maintain a consistent speed.
4. Hard Braking
Your examiner doesn’t want to get whiplash when you hit the brakes. Not only will it be uncomfortable for everyone in the car, but it can also be dangerous for other people on the road who aren’t expecting someone else to stop suddenly. Give yourself enough time to brake and ease on the pedal so you control the speed of the stop.
5. Missing the Speed Limit
It can be overwhelming to focus on your car, the cars around you, and navigating directions all at the same time, so plenty of new drivers forget to look for speed limit changes. There are lots of signs on the road, so you should frequently check your surroundings for signs indicating school zones, construction zones, or residential streets, which usually have reduced speeds.
6. Changing Lanes in an Intersection
Changing lanes in an intersection is incredibly dangerous because other drivers are not expecting a lane change in this space. At a minimum, this is an easy way to fail a test and at worst, you could cause an accident on the road. Always wait until you have gone through an intersection to begin changing lanes.
The last and perhaps most important tip is about controlling your nerves and remembering that you should not panic during your driver’s test. This will only make you tense, anxious, and more likely to make small mistakes that could add up to a failing grade. Just take a deep breath and relax before you get behind the wheel.
Passing your driver’s test will give you newfound independence. Contact Alliance Defensive Driving School to learn how our professional instructors will help you earn your license and become a safe, confident driver.