Home Driving LifeDriver Resources The Most Common Driving Test Mistakes And How You Can Avoid Them

Hearing you’ve failed your driving test can be a huge blow to your confidence, especially when you know you’ve put in hours of hard work. Here are some common driving test mistakes.

1. Not making effective observations at junctions

One of the biggest reasons students fail a driving test is by not making the proper observations when approaching and using junctions. Some of the most common ‘Junctions – Observations’ faults include:

  • Judging the speed of an approaching vehicle
  • Entering a roundabout with poor observations
  • Making no observations at all
  • Poor dual carriageway observations when entering from a slip road
  • Not making observations at crossroads and driving straight across
  • Looking at junctions too late when turning 
  • Not looking left at all when turning left

2. Not using mirrors correctly

Not checking mirrors properly before changing direction is a common failure for many learner drivers. These faults will be noted as ‘Mirrors – Change direction’ on your test and usually happen when you fail to check before signalling, changing direction or changing speed. Reasons for drivers failing for incorrect mirror use include:

  • Not checking or using mirrors when leaving roundabouts
  • Failing to check mirrors and causing a car to slow when changing lanes
  • Changing lanes on a roundabout without checking mirrors

3. Not responding to traffic light signals 

A ‘Response to signs – Traffic lights’ fault means you’ve not responded correctly to traffic lights during your test. As well as responding to traffic light signals you need to make sure the road is clear before proceeding if there is a green light. Top reasons for failing the driving test due to traffic lights include:

  • Not reacting to a red traffic light 
  • Continuing when a green light shows but the junction isn’t clear
  • Stopping at lights after the advanced stop line for cyclists
  • Not setting off when the light is green, and the junction is clear
  • Not moving when turning right even though the junction is clear 

4. Poor control of the vehicle when moving off

You may fail if you don’t have proper control of your vehicle when moving off. Some people struggle with this when setting off on a hill, slope or gradient and behind a parked vehicle. Some of the top ‘Move off – Control’ faults related to poor control include:

  • Rolling back or stalling when moving off
  • Moving off without selecting a gear and rolling back
  • Repeatedly stalling or rolling when trying to set off 

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