But between wanting your driver’s license and acquiring that coveted plastic card are hours of practice for the deciding road exam. But what if all your careful preparation is undermined by a single mistake on your driver’s test?
Don’t let one small slip-up derail your driving exam: here are six common (and easily corrected) mistakes people make on their driving tests, and what you should do instead. By keeping these tips in mind, you can focus on what’s important – passing that test!
1. Rolling Stops
Rolling through a stop is one of the most common and dangerous mistakes you can make while driving. Do this on your road test and you’ll be rewarded with an automatic fail – no exceptions.
When approaching a stop sign, be sure to come to a complete stop and conduct a brief scan of the traffic scene in front of you before continuing. If you arrive at a four-way stop intersection at the same moment as another vehicle on your right, they have the right-of-way and you must allow them to continue.
Another rolling stop infraction often happens at red lights. Although turning right on reds is allowed on most roads in Canada, it’s vital to make a complete stop before doing so. Remember: vehicles entering the intersection perpendicular to you have the green light.
Before your driver’s test, scout out your test site and its surrounding area. Check speed limits of nearby roads and inquire about possible exam routes. By doing a little research beforehand, you’ll know where speed limits increase or decrease.
If your speeding is consistent throughout your test, or if you speed through a school zone, you are going to be given a failing grade by your examiner. You also run the risk of being stopped by police if you speed – which guarantees a fail!
3. Not Checking Their Blind Spot
By the time you take your road test, you’re well aware that not checking your blind spot is not only dangerous, but is also an irritation to other cars on the road.
Remember: although you may know to check your blind spot, make sure your examiner knows that you are. Exaggerate your shoulder checks to show you’re taking the proper precautions before turning or changing lanes.
4. Not Having Proper Hand Positioning
If your car is moving, always demonstrate to your examiner that you’re in control of the vehicle: keep at least one hand on the steering wheel at all times. For automatics, be sure both of your hands are on the top of the steering wheel, exercising proper hand-over-hand motions when turning. For standards, make sure you always have both hands on the wheel unless you’re changing gears.
5. Not Adjusting for Changing Road Conditions
Being a driver in Canada means knowing how to drive in all types of weather conditions, from whiteout winter snowstorms to sudden summer downpours. If weather conditions are poor or deteriorating during your exam, it’s vital to know how to react to them. As a rule of thumb, you should always slow down during severe weather.
6. Being Too Hesitant
Although most accidents are caused by driving too fast or executing erratic driving maneuvers, some accidents are also caused by hesitation. Driving too slow or meandering with your vehicle can put you directly in the path of danger. If you’re going to make a turn or lane change, or if you are accelerating onto a highway, make sure your moves are pre-calculated and crisp.
Armed with these six tips, you can now focus on what’s important. If you need more practice, take a look at these six effective ways to practice for a driver’s test.
Remember: be safe, take a deep breath and drive with confidence!