10 Reasons why People Fail Their Driving Tests


Top 10 Reasons People Fail The Driving Test

As the driving test turns 80 years old, we look at the top 10 reasons that people fail their driving test. If you’ve passed your test, have you fallen into any of these bad habits? Here they are… in no particular order…

1. Observations at junctions

Driving off the edge of a cliff is a bit of an exaggeration. But poor observations at junctions is one of the top 10 reasons that people fail.

You’ll be marked with this fault for not taking effective observation before emerging at junctions, and emerging into the path of other vehicles. Always make sure it’s safe before proceeding.

2. Use of mirrors

Well OK, people don’t sit combing their hair on their driving test, but not using mirrors properly is one of the top 10 reasons people fail.  Every time you need to change direction – Check your mirrors!

Remember that you need to use your rear view mirror and wing mirrors – and react to the information! People get caught out for pulling up with no mirror checks, increasing their speed with no mirror checks, or using their mirrors too late.

3. Moving off safely

Moving off safely makes it into our top 10.

When you’re moving off from the side of the road, you need to make sure you look around, check your blind spots – and that you’re indicating the right way!

4. Reverse parking

The next reason is reverse parking. In the driving test you’ll either one of the following manoeuvres;

  • parallel, at the side of the road;
  • in a bay, by driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out;
  • or pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths, and then rejoin the traffic.

You’ll notch up a fault in this area if you need to reposition to correct a loss of control or accuracy. A complete misjudgement or significant loss of control will count as a serious fault.

5. Response to traffic lights

Giving the right response to traffic lights is something that catches people out.

Some of the mistakes that people make include waiting at a green filter light when it’s safe to proceed and staying at the stop line when it’s safe to move.

Other faults that count include not conforming to a red light, and stopping beyond an advanced stop line in the area designated for cyclists.

6. Steering

Believe it or not, steering makes it into our top 10.

You need to be able to maintain a steady course in normal driving. Things like mounting and dismounting the kerb, and not following the contour of the kerb results in faults in this area.

7. Positioning

Well that might be a very extreme example, but positioning is really important.

Your vehicle should be positioned correctly for the route you’re taking. If lanes are marked, make sure you’re in the middle of the lane. Avoid straddling lanes.

8. Turning right at junctions

Turning right at junctions makes it onto our list.

When you’re turning right, position your vehicle correctly – it shouldn’t cut the corner when turning right.

Also, watch out for cyclists and motorcyclists, and any pedestrians crossing the road.

9. Control when moving off

Is this the one everyone dreads doing?

Repeated stalling is one of the things that counts as control when moving off.

Other things that are included in this reason are moving off (or trying to!) with the handbrake on, rolling backwards when trying to move off – and not putting the car in gear and attempting to move off.

10. Response to road markings

And finally… look out for road markings.

You’ll be marked with faults in this area for doing things like unnecessarily crossing the solid white centre lines on the road, and not following directional arrows.

Stopping in a yellow box junction when the exit is not clear also counts for this reason. So make sure you know the rules about using them.

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