How to avoid the most common driving test mistakes

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How to avoid the most common driving test mistakes

More than half of us fail our driving test – according to the DVLA, with the latest pass rate hitting 45.9 per cent.

But the main reasons people fail their driving test may not be what you expect, reports MEN.

The experts at Collingwood Insurance have listed the most common mistakes people make during a practical test – and how to avoid them.

Junctions – observation

Proper observation is key to a successful driving test and safe driving going forward. According to the DVLA, 39 per cent of all accidents in Great Britain in 2017 were caused by a driver failing to look properly. This was the most common contributory factor, with failure to properly observe contributing to 35,993 accidents in that year.

The stakes are high, so it’s no wonder that your driving examiner will be closely watching for your every observation and check, especially when approaching a junction.

To avoid making this mistake, approach each junction or roundabout at a safe speed, and be confident that you can judge the speed and distance of oncoming traffic. Clearly you need to make sure that your observations are appropriate in challenging weather conditions and poor light and that you are always being watchful of other vehicles, including bikes and motorbikes.

Mirrors – change direction

Not checking your mirror before changing direction, overtaking, or changing lanes was found to be the second most common driving test mistake.

Mirror checks are absolutely crucial and should become a habit when driving.

Before changing direction, moving off, slowing down, turning, or overtaking, you must check your mirrors and make sure that other road users are aware of your intentions and have time to react.

Avoid making this classic mistake on your test by ensuring that you check your rear-view and appropriate side-view mirror every time you are preparing to alter your direction.

Control – steering

The key to avoiding failing your test due to a steering fault is about making sure you always stay in your lane and retain full control over the car — regardless of the weather conditions.

The best way to do this is by making sure you follow the kerb, but never veer too close to it, knock, or mount it — this will be marked as a major fault in your test and result in an automatic fail.

Junctions – turning right

Turning right at a junction can be a particularly nerve-racking manoeuvre for many learner drivers. As well as observing the speed and distance of the oncoming traffic and judging your timing perfectly, you will also need to master the turn itself and position your vehicle so that it doesn’t cut the corner.

This manoeuvre can be particularly dangerous, so be sure to stay vigilant and only take the turn when you are fully confident.

Move off – safely

In order to pass your test, you need to prove to the examiner that you can move off safely, on both level and sloped services. A single stall won’t result in instant failure, but you’ll certainly be in trouble if you stall regularly.

In order to avoid this mistake, make sure that you’re in first gear, gently put pressure on the accelerator and lift pressure from the clutch until you find the bite, slowly release the handbrake while putting more pressure on the accelerator, then gradually lift all pressure from the clutch as you keep your right foot steady on the accelerator.

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