According to released government statistics, the current average national pass rate in the UK on all driving tests (car, motocycle, HGV, PSV) is 43%.
So let us look at the ten most common reasons for not being successful and the driver faults that would need to be addressed to increase your chances of passing 1st time!
- Observation at junctions: Ineffective observation and judgement.
Make sure it is safe before proceeding at a junction. Depending on the type of junction (open or closed) you need to adjust your speed on approach. If you can't see it is safe when approaching, then you need to STOP.
Once you are at the junction, continue to look for gaps in the traffic with the car prepared and ready to make use of a SAFE oppourtunity!
- Reverse Parking Maneuver: Ineffective observation or lack of accuracy.
When you are doing any of the reversing exercises, you need to remember the examiners want you to be safe, while still being able to complete the assigned task
You need to keep the car slow and keep checking all around you, especially look out for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Use Of Mirrors: Not checking or Acting on information from mirrors.
Make it a habit of using the MSM routine before changing your speed or direction, and most importantly if you do check the mirrors, act on what you see. For example if changing lanes on a dual carriageway and there is a car next to you, Signal immediately, but DO NOT start drifting into the next lane until it is safe to do so, the Signal is an indication of what you INTEND to do, not a licence to move!
- Reversing Around a Corner Maneuver: Ineffective observation or a lack of accuracy.
The most thing that I have noticed with learners when doing this exercise is that they concentrate so hard on getting round (usually by staring in the left mirror) that they don't look around regularly and miss pedestrians or other vehicles passing by.
- Incorrect Use of Signals On Driving Test: Not cancelling the indicators after exiting a junction (happens a lot at roundabouts) or giving misleading signals (for example signalling left and following the road ahead).
- Moving away safely: In-effective observation before moving off. Make sure you check the blind spot and react if you think you see something. The other scenario is moving off too slowing and causing the car behind to have to slow down.
- Incorrect Positioning on the Road: At roundabouts or on bends. Make sure you use the correct lanes on roundabouts or if no lanes then position left for turning left/following road ahead, or position right when turning right
Common mistakes are straight lining a mini-roundabout or drifting out of lane when on a multi-lane roundabout
- Lack of steering control: Steering too early or leaving it too late. At junctions don't mount kerbs turning left or cut the corner when turning right. This could also be a <a href="http://www.ukadi.co.uk/2006/09/minor-and-major-errors-uk-driving-test.html">Minor or Major Fault</a> during maneuvers.
- Incorrect positioning to turn right: At junctions and in one way streets. As mentioned in point 8 above, also pay attention when turning from a one way street as many learners get confused and end up on the wrong side of the road creating a hazard for other road users.
- Inappropriate speed during the test: Speeding is the obvious driver error here, but others are travelling too slowly (many learners automatically think that you have to drive at 20mph if they see a school sign) or being hesitant due to lack of practise on high speed dual carriageways.
One additional point, don't book your test at a centre not recommended by your instructor just to get an earlier test date, routes could be more complex, distance could be an issue (mental fatigue also plays a role in whether you pass as concentration levels will vary).
If you really want to pass the driving test, then you had better make sure you have fully dealt with the points listed above, otherwise you will not be among the 40% pass rate!
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