Driving Test Mistakes To Avoid!

One of the most exciting things about growing up is learning to drive and owning your own car. Being able to have the freedom to get behind the wheel is a big part of the transition between child and adult, and all teenagers are longing for the day they, too, can get behind the wheel and drive a car. Even adults who never learned to drive when they were young get excited by the prospect. However, there are steps to take before you can get your driving license, and it’s easy to make mistakes when you’re out there, too!

The practical driving test is the last step in the process of getting your driving license. It’s so important that you prepare yourself properly for this test, otherwise you could end up failing it and being unsafe on the road altogether. As with any other exam, you need to study and practice if you want to pass. There are mistakes made that can not only ruin your exam prospects, but actually have you in front of a hit and run attorney if you’re not good enough! You need to understand the most common mistakes that you can make in your driving test so that you can avoid them altogether. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes that you can make during your driving test.

You’re Rolling To A Stop

Coasting is one of the most common ways you can fail your driving test. Rolling to a stop is an incomplete one. A lot of drivers choose to slow down but don’t come to that complete stop during the test. When this happens, you can instantly fail your test. The key is control when you’re driving, and when you come to a proper stop behind the demarcation line, you will be on the right side of the instructor.

Incorrect & Improper Lane Changes

One of the easiest things to do during your driving lessons is to properly indicate lane changes. It’s not difficult to signal to the other road users where you intend to be. Checking your mirrors and blind spots is a big part of passing your test. Skipping these crucial steps can mean a fail during your test. The most important thing here is to be as thorough as possible when you are driving and pass this test. If your instructor tells you to change lanes, make sure you are looking, signalling and checking your mirrors. Turn your head, not just your eyes and make sure everything is completely clear before you slide on into the other lanes. Always watch for traffic in front of you, and keep your speed up so that you’re not a hindrance to other drivers.

Your Hands Are Wandering The Wheel

When you are in the car being supervised by an examiner, you need to keep your hands steady on the steering wheel. You shouldn’t be trying to drive one-handed, not when you could fail based on moving your hands in the wrong places. Make sure that you make hand over hand turns and don’t let the wheel slip through your fingers. Your instructor will be watching for the slightest mistake, and you don’t want to give them any reason not to give you a pass. You need to be confident on the wheel, and that means ensuring that you maintain control.

You’re Distracted

You know that it’s a bad idea to use your phone or eat while you’re on the road, so answering your phone while you’re driving is a great way for that fail hammer to fall on your face. You need to concentrate on the road around you and not on anything that could lead to a crash. You cannot be distracted by anything while you are driving unless you want to be on the receiving end of an arrest! You need to focus on driving and keep your mind on the road, and your instructor will keep your score high and your pass level positive!

You Didn’t Study Stop Signs

When you dive up to an intersection with stop signs, you need to know what to do if there are other cars waiting. This is possibly most important at four way stop signs, and you need to wait your turn before you go. You need to always signal where you hope to go and show your driving instructor that you are able to do this. They can;t pass you if they don’t know that you can make these stops confidently. If there are two cars on an intersection at once, the car to the right always goes first. Know your placement on the road and move properly for your test to be a pass and not a fail.

You Didn’t Merge Properly

It’s hard to drive on the freeway as a nervous newbie. You want to feel confident when you get to the freeway and you want to make sure that you know what you’re doing before you get there. It’s not common for a driving instructor to take a new driver on the freeway, but if it does happen it would help for you to know how to merge safely from the entrance ramp into traffic at a good speed. Too many beginners hesitate at the end of the ramp instead of merging, which ends up with an unsafe situation for all on the road. You need to make sure that you get your freeway practice in before your test – just in case!

You’re Driving Too Slowly

You have to be a confident driver if you want that pass mark. If you are too careful with your driving, you’re going to fail just as you would be if you were too fast. Being too slow holds up other drivers and causes a hazard on the road. If you’re too far below the speed limit your driving is not safe, and you cannot pass your test like this.

You’re Going Too Fast

On the flipside, if you’re going too fast for the conditions outside, you are being equally as unsafe on the road. You need to remain at a safe speed if you want that pass mark on your test. Speeding can see you pulled over and booked, and it can also lead to hit and run accidents!

You Changed Lanes In The Wrong Place

If there is one place on the road that you shouldn’t be changing lanes, it’s the intersection. If you are going straight or you are making a turn, you need to make sure that the lane is clear and follow the proper lane guidance. You should never change lanes at an intersection, but always ensure that you safely pass that point for the lane change to be a successful one.

You Are Braking Too Hard

It’s good to stop and brake when you are driving or letting someone pass you. However, slamming on the brake should only be kept for emergency stops. If you are going to slam the brakes just to stop the car in traffic, you will pass as that can be dangerous for you, for the instructor and for others on the road.


There Is something unnerving about being bumper to bumper with another driver. Not only are you at an unsafe distance if they suddenly need to stop, it’s creepy! Don’t be creepy on the road in your test and keep a safe distance as much as possible. It’s so important that you keep your passengers safe from harm.

You Didn’t Check Your Mirrors 

It’s the law that you must check your mirrors when you are driving, but you need to do it a little more than usual during your test. You also have to make an obvious point of it and move your head deliberately to look at the mirrors. Don’t just glance at them with your eyes, not when you need to show that you understand that you should be aware of others around you on the road. Your instructor will be watching for this!

The Car Has Failed

If there is one thing that you should do before your driving test, it’s ensure that your car is in tip top condition. You have to have a car that is compliant with all driving safety laws, and that includes the belts, windshield and headlights being in peak condition. Clean your car both inside and outside and make sure that you have no personal items causing a hazard, either. Your windows should be as clean as possible, too, as if your car is not up to the right standard you may have to take the test again. 


No one wants to fail their driving test, and you shouldn’t either. By studying hard, you can avoid all of these mistakes and pass your test with flying colors. Make sure that you are not a hazard on the road and your instructor will be marking you highly!

Alicia Baker
Alicia is a Canadian writer whose enthusiasm for cultural and automotive are combined in her writing. Her background includes links to insurance, finance, and automotive safety.