Mastering the Road: Conquering the Top 10 Practical Test Faults
Proven Strategies to Ace Your Driving Test and Ensure Road-Ready Skills
1. Observation at Junctions:
Improve your observation skills by practising eye scanning. Instead of fixing your eyes directly in front of you, keep looking all around you and in your mirrors. Pay special attention to other road users who have the right of way at junctions, allowing them to pass before proceeding.
2. Mirrors – Changing Direction:
Develop a 360-degree awareness of your surroundings, especially before changing direction. Utilise eye-scanning techniques. Always check your mirrors and blind spot before making any directional changes.
3. Poor Control – Steering:
To increase your chances of passing the practical test, ensure that steering becomes second nature to you. Practice the push-pull steering method, which is generally effective. However, the key is to maintain control over the car’s direction.
4. Turning Right at Junctions:
Turning right at junctions can be daunting for new drivers, but with practice, you can handle it confidently. Remember the MSPSL routine: Mirror, Signal, Position, Speed, and Look. Be cautious of the speed of oncoming traffic at junctions and make the turn only when it is safe to do so.
5. Failing to Respond to Road Signs:
Maintain continuous awareness of road signs and markings. Absorb the information they provide and respond accordingly. Don’t let your theoretical knowledge slip between your theory and practical tests—your understanding of road signs is still crucial!
6. Sloppy Reverse Parking:
Reverse parking demands accuracy and car control. Take your time, avoid rushing, and practice frequently. Continuously check for other vehicles and pedestrians around you to ensure a safe reverse parking manoeuvre.
7. Failing to Move Off Safely:
Follow the proper procedure each time you move off. Remember MSM (Mirrors, Signal, Maneuver). Do not pull away until it is safe to do so, and always indicate your intention to other road users. Observation and good judgment are essential.
8. Poor Positioning in Normal Driving:
Stay within your lane unless you are changing lanes or overtaking. Avoid drifting towards lane markings. When overtaking cyclists, leave at least 1.5 meters of space for their safety.
9. Failing to Move Off Under Control:
By the time of your practical test, clutch and throttle controls should be second nature to you. Practice pulling away smoothly while accelerating to a safe and legal speed. It is crucial to maintain control of the vehicle at all times.
10. Responding to Traffic Lights:
Scan ahead to spot traffic lights and prepare to slow down or stop when necessary. Watch the lights as you wait for them to change colour. Get ready to move when the lights turn to red and amber, but remember to wait until they are green before proceeding.