Most common reasons why people fail the practical driving test

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, the pass rate for the practical driving test in 2018/2019 was 45.8%, the lowest level in a decade. With this in mind, we're going to take a look at some of the common reasons why people fail their tests.

1. Poor observation at a junction

Placing first on the list every year is poor observation at a junction. You will be given a fault if you emerge from a junction without completing 'effective observation' before doing so. This includes approaching a junction too quickly, not taking enough time to observe the obstacles around you, and not noticing pedestrians or cyclists.

2. Failure to use your mirrors when changing direction

Although driving instructors stress the importance of using your rear-view and wing mirrors throughout intensive driving courses, this is still one of the top reasons people fail their tests. You will receive a fault if you forget to check your mirrors before changing direction or if you check your mirrors whilst changing direction. Remember, the appropriate mirrors must be checked before turning, not during or after.

3. Poor steering

While most instructors will tell you to hold the steering wheel at '10 and 2', this fault mainly considers how well you control the vehicle, not where you place your hands (unless this affects your handling of the car). An example of this fault is if you hit or mount the kerb and/or cut across the junction when turning right. You will also fail your test if you take both hands off the steering wheel or you let it slide through your hands to recentre.

4. Turning right at a junction

This always makes the list and refers to the position of the vehicle when turning right. It's important to stop just before the junction and position the car to the left of the centre line. The most common reasons for receiving a fault here are a lack of observation and approaching the junction too quickly, which means you don't have enough time to position the vehicle correctly.

These are the top four reasons why people fail the practical driving test, but the following factors complete the top ten: move off (safely), response to signals (traffic lights), move off (control), positioning (normal driving), response to signals (road markings) and reverse park (control).

To find out more about how we can help you overcome these obstacles, contact us at National Intensive today.