Do Not Let These Mistakes Sabotage Your Driving Test

September 14, 2019

Learning how to drive can be one of the most exciting and freeing experiences in your life, but also intimidating and overwhelming. 

As you prepare to take the driving test, there is a lot to consider, and the inevitable nerves that come with the fear of not passing. 

The following are some general and specific things to avoid when it comes to your driving test. These common mistakes could hamper your efforts to gain the independence you are looking for, so do not let them happen to you. 

Not Studying

There are tons of resources that are available, so you can learn the rules of the road and study to prepare for your permit and license tests. These are available in books and online. You can get online and not only study, but also take practice license tests that are going to be nearly exactly like what you will see when you go to the DMV. 

Use these resources. 

There is no excuse not to study and prepare when you have the ability to, and it can make a difference between passing and failing your permit and driving tests.

Sometimes people do not study, because they feel like it is common sense and in reality, that is just not the case for inexperienced drivers. 

Do not let overconfidence or avoidance keep you from studying.

Not Knowing What to Expect During the Behind-the-Wheel Exam

Again, you may think that if you have been practicing driving, you pretty much know it all as far as what to do when you are behind the wheel. Not necessarily the case. 

Driving instructors are looking to see some very specific things, some of which you might not even consider unless you are prepared. 

Some of the things that may be on your behind-the-wheel driving exam include:

  • A pre-drive checklist: This is when you show that you can work the main components of the vehicle, including the flashers, headlights, horn, and emergency parking brake, among others. 
  • Parking lot driving: When you leave and return to the DMV, your instructor will be assessing how well you do in the parking lot. 
  • Intersections: Most driving exams will include a few intersections to show how you deal with things like speeds and braking. 

Other things that are likely to be included in your driving exam include driving in both business and residential areas whenever possible, and entering and backing along curbs. You will have to show you can effectively change lanes, and you will likely need to make several turns. Your turns cannot be too wide or short, and you will need to show you can signal and turn into the right lane. 

Instructors are also looking for general things in a certain order — signaling, using your mirrors, looking over your shoulder, and then going. 

Common Reasons Students Fail the Driving Test

Of course, everyone is different, but there are certain reasons more students fail the driving test as compared to other reasons. One of the big ones is becoming too nervous and letting it overtake you. If you are too nervous you may forget everything you have learned. 

Another big one is making wide turns. You should be turning into the correct lane, and then to remedy a mistake when it is been made someone taking their driving test might try to get into the right lane, but they do not signal or look over their shoulder. 

You should also be aware of bike lanes when you are taking your test. You have to signal well in advance and make sure you are following the signaling and mirror rules. 

Not Seeming in Control of the Vehicle

Another big issue? Not seeming or feeling in control of the vehicle when you are taking your driver’s test. The person doing your exam is going to want to see that you feel confident behind the wheel.

Signs you are not in control of the vehicle can include jerky movements or just showing a general lack of confidence. These things will count against you. 

Not Checking Mirrors and Doing Head Checks

Another frequent reason people do not pass their driving exam?

They don’t check their mirrors including rear and side mirrors and they do not do head checks. 

You are supposed to check your blind spot every time you are pulling into the road, changing lanes or merging into the highway. 

If you are backing up, you should look over your shoulder so you can see out of your back window. You should also be looking left to right. 

Many of the things that could make you fail your driving test are easily overlooked, but they do not have to be. 

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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