When you are taking your driving lessons, initially you will be trying to master the controls of the car. Most of the outside environment would be of secondary consideration. Once you think you have mastered turning a corner and changing gears. You might think you are on your way to passing a practical test. Not quite. In order to do well on your driving test, you will have to manage 3 things:
- Car control
- Rules of driving
- Mental state
Once those three items are mastered, you are ready to pass your driving test. Sounds straightforward. So why do 50% of new learner drivers fail their test first time? Why would a learner driver need to take more than one driving test? It might be because not enough lessons have been taken. Maybe the lessons were not structured enough to bring the best out of you. You may have been practising with a friend or relative who was not vigilant enough to see your faults.
If you look at the 3 topics that need to be mastered, it might become more clear. Let’s take one item at a time.
Pass your driving test using control of the car
Using control of the car is 100% essential if you want to drive safely. Think of it like this: How can you play a game of football if you don’t know how to control the ball!
Control of the car means
- The car should not roll back when a forward gear is selected
- The car should not roll forwards when reverse gear is selected
- Steering around a corner safely means not hitting the kerb or going too wide
- Drifting off course while looking in the mirror, changing speed or operating indicators / wipers/ heater / opening a window
- Moving off in too high a gear causing the car to stall
To pass your driving test you must also know the rules of driving.
Rules of driving
The rules of driving can be found in the Highway Code. They are the rules that all drivers should obey. The reason I say should, not must
As an example, when turning right from the main road into a side street. You should enter the side street on the left-hand side, i.e. over the single broken line. However, you may not be able to do so because of a parked vehicle.
This means you should enter cautiously on the wrong side of the road. In this case, you have not infringed on any legal requirements. To pass your driving test you would need to adapt to the circumstance.
Many new learner drivers when studying for their theory test. Tend to spend more time practising with theory test apps. rather than reading the Highway Code. These apps. should only be used as an aid to passing the exam. They should not be used as a substitute for studying a book. If you have been using the app. and not the book. See if you can answer these questions. Theory test advice
The mental state of learning to drive
An area often overlooked whilst learning to drive is the state of mind. Most learners are nervous when taking their test. One way to overcome “test nerves” is to first of all understand and be confident about the car control and rules of the road. Anyone confident in those areas can overcome test nerves. If you really are nervous, take on honest look at your driving. Are you really confident in those aspects?
If not, then you have not had enough practice. Here is another point that will help with your nerves. “The driving examiner never fails anybody – you fail yourself.” Every learner driver taking a driving test starts off with a marking sheet that is 100% perfect. You the driver – adds the faults onto the form. Why would you make any mistakes if you have had enough practice.?
Going off the test route is not a fail. Yet many learners panic when they go off route. A dangerous correction then usually happens. It’s this dangerous correction that causes failure. You could say it’s the state of mind. If this fault happens it means your mind has gone away from the road safety aspect.