17 Driving Test Mistakes to Avoid

While driving your car, it’s important to follow the rules of the road…if you want to pass your driving test.

You need to use the various features to be used in driving the vehicle: to change the gears, control speed, etc. All this is likely to result in optimal performance. However, there are as many as 17 driving test mistakes that may prove fatal and is also likely to cause massive damage to the vehicle.

1. Not stopping at stop signs

Among the common driving test is making incomplete stops. In many cases, drivers slow down when approaching a road sign. At this point, the vehicle should come to a complete stop. You should bring the vehicle to complete stop and your car should be behind the line.

A Rolling stop is not a full stop.

2. Wrong lane change

Changing lanes is easy. Using your blinker is apparently hard.

By changing your lane, you navigate the vehicle properly. To change the lane, you need to check your mirrors, your blind spot, use your blinker and change lanes. However, people fail to do it all the time. They even fail to qualify for the test. Why? They miss one of these steps.

To ensure you perform properly, change lanes when your instructor asks to change lane.

While changing lanes, check your rear view and look at side mirrors. Move your head when checking whether it’s your car, motorcycle, and truck.

3. Not staying in lane lines

Stay in your lane. Don’t drive over the lane lines. Either left it right. This is a clear sign that you are not paying attention while driving. While driving stay focused. Avoid using a cell phone when driving.

4. Driving too fast

While driving your vehicle, it’s important to go the speed limit. If you drive the car too fast, odds are that you fail to apply the proper controls. This is potentially dangerous since you won’t be able to stop your car in time.

Go the speed limit. Don’t go under the limit or above it. Just do the limit and you will be fine.

5. Too slow

While undergoing your driving test, it is important to show your confidence. If you exercise too much caution, it may artificially reduce the speed of the car. This will result in a drop in speed. This leads to suboptimal performance of the engine. All this is not good for you as well as other drivers.

6. Too fast for conditions

Snow, ice or freezing sleet? Slow down, get in the right lane.

Chances are, your driving instructor is not going to require that you drive in bad conditions (due to insurance liability). You should know how to drive in bad weather, however.

7. Not letting other cars merge

Don’t be a jerk. Anticipate other vehicles that will need to merge. This is tantamount to not merging properly. When your test administrator is around, they WILL take you on the freeway.

You must know how to come out merge, confidently drive and let other cars merge. In many cases, newbie drivers close the gap so other drivers on the on ramp cannot merge.

8. Following too closely

While driving on the road behind other vehicles, ensure your car is a few cars behind the vehicle in the front. This will ensure your car is at an adequately safe distance even the car in front applies brakes or slows down. This will ensure to get enough reaction time so that you apply brakes timely. This will ensure safety for you as well as the passengers in your car.

9. Not using mirrors

While undergoing a driving test, one of the major mistakes committed is si that when you keep on driving the car, you miss to use your mirrors as a guide. Even if you use them you rarely use it. This is not proper. You should use these mirrors as frequently as possible to ensure safe diving. Many individuals taking the test tend to forget to use the mirrors. They should check from time to time the rear view of the vehicle using the side mirror.

Using the rearview mirrors will enable to know if there are any vehicles or any other object behind your car. This is important when you wish to change the lane.

10. Driving too close to the driver next to you (crowding their lane)

While driving in a lane or any other wider road in general, ensure you are at distance several times your car length. This will ensure safety. Further, on the lateral aspect as well, you should drive your car such that it is at least five feet aside from other vehicles. This will ensure safety when change lanes or the other drivers wish to do so.

Use the golden rule. Do unto others…

No one wants another driver driving right behind them. If you are tailgating then you are doing that to the driver in front of you.

11. Driving slow in the left lane

The standard practice in the United States highways is that the left lanes are meant for passing (overtaking) and fast-moving vehicles. However, you should exercise caution you must go by the traffic rule when overtaking other vehicles.

If you are a slow driver, then move to the right lane. In many states like Virginia, it is against the law to drive in the left lane. It is meant for passing.

Hanging out too long in the left lane will surely deduct points on your driving test.

12. Hard braking

Before you undergo a driving test, learn to apply brakes for any condition. Know how to brake as you would regularly brake. You should also be familiar with braking hard so you know what it feels like during emergency braking.

During the test, you may be required to use either type of brake.

Hard braking may be required in an emergency. This will reduce the chances of collision and consequent damage to the vehicle and minimize fatally. When you slow down or wish to stop the car, use the right sort of brake. If you apply hard brakes you and your passengers may forward knock.

13. Not using lights in dark conditions

While driving the car, ensure you sue the headlines, tail lamps and turn signals properly. These lights are critical when the situation is dark such during the night, early morning, or evening. Further, during inclement weather too. When you undergo the driving test, use all these lights properly as and when required.

14. Eating while driving

Hungry and driving? Pull over or go to a restaurant.

Don’t eat and drive or drink and drive.

When you drive your car, you must stay focused. If you eat in your car you will become distracted and will probably fail your test quickly. Eat before you come to the driving school or eat afterwards. The point is, don’t eat while driving, even if your instructor does.

15. 4 way stop violation

When you reach a four-way stop where four stop signs you must know the order. There is a secret code to find out this process (read your driving book). If you are on the left, you must ensure you go to the right to the vehicle if you’re on the left. If you fail to do so, you’re said to have violated.

16. Not yielding

Make sure to yield at all yield signs. You don’t have to completely stop but you should make an attempt to slow down, look to the left for oncoming cars, use your blinker to indicate that you intend to merge.

Now merge with the traffic.

Don’t stop at the yielding sign either. Drivers hate it when someone is holding up traffic because they don’t want to merge.

Use your signals, match the speed of traffic and it will be easy.

17. Not turning right on red (holding up traffic)

Not turning right on red when you are at a red light (and are in the far right lane) will get you knocked down a few points when doing your driving test.


Because you have to option and obligation to turn when in the far right lane, while at a red light. If cars are behind you they will be come impatient if you don not turn and are holding up traffic.

How to pass the test

  • Actually study the book and pay attention in class.
  • Don’t wear ear buds and take the class for granted if you want to pass. You would be surprised how many people fail their driving test because they don’t take it seriously. It is not hard, you just have to pay attention and follow directions in order to pass.
  • Show up.
  • Practice before your test. Your parents should show you how to drive way before the actual test, in a parking lot, or on your street so you are not a rookie with no experience when you take your driving test.

When you undergo the driving test, you are likely to do these driving test mistakes. However, if you keep on practicing and consciously, for some time, and then undergo the professional test training, you will easily pass the test.

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D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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