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Wednesday 17 January 2024

Driving Instructor Discusses The Most Common Driving Test Faults


Image Credit: UnSplash

{This is a collaborative post}

A driving test represents a major step during our years as a young adult, and it’s often accompanied by a considerable amount of nerves for both the test-taking teen…and their parents! To help lessen these anxieties, Regtransfers, a provider of personalised number plates, partners with Sophie Stuchfield, an experienced driving instructor. With a rich experience of 15 years teaching students and an online presence as @TheOnlineDrivingInstructor, Sophie imparts key advice on the most common faults made in UK driving tests over the past decade.

Observations at Junctions 

Starting off at the top, Sophie highlights the need for vigilant observation at junctions - the leading fault seen in driving tests over the past ten years. “If you don’t pay close attention to road markings or road signs, you may be completely unaware that you are approaching a junction,” she warns.

In fact, an examiner may need to intervene in these scenarios. “If you miss a junction, your examiner may have to step in verbally or engage the dual control brake to manage the vehicle’s speed or bring it to a stop.”

Sophie also highlights the importance of carrying out proper checks when leaving a junction: “A single glance isn’t enough; confirming that the road is clear is a really important step before joining it.”

Mirror Checks During Direction Changes

Mirror checks should be carried out before signalling, turning or changing speeds. The "Mirror-Signal-Manoeuvre" process should be second nature to learners by the time they take their test, but it can easily be overlooked under the stress of test pressure.

Sophie emphasises, "Focus on your wing mirrors when changing lanes or moving around obstacles. Check the corresponding wing mirror for the direction you’re heading." She relates these common mirror-related errors to the stress of being assessed, where learners might lose focus on their natural hazard management, and instead be concerned with how their test is going.

Right-Hand Turns at Junctions

For executing right-hand turns at junctions, Sophie insists on strict lane adherence. "Remain in the proper lane at all times, irrespective of the traffic situation," she advises.

She further explains the importance of proper positioning: "Approaching the turn, if there is no oncoming traffic, drivers will often drift to the wrong side of the road before turning. It’s really important to stay on your side of the road until you reach your point of turn".