When you take your driving test, it is important to think of some of the main reasons why somebody fails the test. The main reasons for failing are to do with observation; at junctions, during manoeuvres, incorrect mirror checks etc.

BLIND SPOTS:  One point to remember, is checking the “blind spots” every single time before moving away. This involves checking BOTH shoulders, and ALL mirrors before starting away from a parked position at the side of the road. If you forget to do this on your test, you will pick up a minor fault, unless you cause someone else to have to take evasive action due to you moving away. What happens then is the examiner asks you to stop, and then move away a number of times throughout the duration of your test.

If you continually forget to check your “blind spot”, you will continue to receive minor faults. If you commit 5 of these errors, it will then automatically become a serious fault, due to a “build-up” of errors. Just be sure to check your shoulders every time before setting off and you will not fail for not moving away safely.

MIRRORS:  Another point on which people fail a test, is the correct use of mirrors. It is important to check your mirrors before taking an action; before slowing down; before making a direction change, e.g. changing lanes on a roundabout, or before turning right etc. Checking your mirrors before taking an action could save you a problem at some time, and you will not know about it in time if you don’t check your mirrors first.

Observation at junctions is another important point, particularly at roundabouts. The main thing to be aware of is the approach speed – if you approach the junction too fast, you will not give yourself enough time to assess the moving traffic. I always instruct pupils to approach every junction as if they were going to come to a complete stop at the line; that way, you have a better chance to assess the speed and distances of all other vehicles before pulling out into the traffic flow. Then you will be able to move away safely.