Having a driving licence opens doors to a huge range of jobs, and not just those which are purely driving based. You can’t just expect an employer to take your word that you have your driving licence though, as many will now run a driving licence check. If you’re a new driver trying to get your licence in order to maximise job opportunities, you might be interested in recent figures from the DVLA, revealing the most common reasons for failing a test. Between January and March 2022, only 47.1% of tests resulted in a pass, so knowing the main reasons for fails might maximise chances of a pass.
Observations at Junctions
The top reason for failure was failing to make proper observations at junctions. There are numerous scenarios which could fall into this category, such as pulling into a road without paying attention to other traffic, forcing other traffic to brake. It also includes roundabout issues, looking too late when going through a junction, or not looking left when turning off a major road into a minor one.
Every learner driver knows the three words of “mirror, signal, manoeuvre”, but many learners fail to demonstrate this on their test. Learners are supposed to use their mirrors not just when approaching a junction or overtaking, but when speeding up or slowing down too. One of the most common scenarios when learners miss using mirrors is when exiting a roundabout, and as a consequence cut across a car still continuing around.
Driving examiners are looking for evidence that the candidate can control the car smoothly. Hitting the kerb or straying into the path of another road user is a clear fail, but the examiner is also looking at how much space you leave between parked cars, or whether you are following the curve of the kerb as you turn left.
Not Moving Off Safely
The examiner will watch how you join the traffic at several stages of the test, including starting off from behind a parked car, or on a slope. Checking your blind spot is an important part of the process, as is moving off at a reasonable speed and under control. Remember that after you do an emergency stop, the examiner will be expecting to see all the observations before you move off again.
Poor positioning in the road means that you are either driving too close to the kerb, or too close to the middle of the road. If the car is too close to the kerb, there is a risk to pedestrians, or to parked vehicles. If you’re too far into the middle of the road there may be a risk to other road users. Keep in the middle of marked lanes, and only change from one lane to another when necessary.
Parking is something which many candidates find tricky. Parallel parking improves with practice, and if you know it’s something you struggle with, spend as much time as you can refining your technique before the test day.