Driving after passing test

Are you preparing for your first driving test? If so, possible mistakes cause anxiety for every learner before getting behind the wheel. 

However, faults are a part of every exam, and you’re bound to make a few mistakes here and there. A few minor faults don’t mean you’ll fail the driving test. However, you must have 15 or fewer faults during your exam to pass. 

If you make any major mistakes which endanger your passengers or surrounding drivers, you’re at more of a risk of failing. But don’t fret! Today, we will guide you through the major and minor practical driving test faults and tips for avoiding them.

Minor faults

Minor faults are small, common errors or imperfections that a learner driver might make when under stress or underprepared. 

These aren’t serious enough to result in immediate failure, but they are important to understand and rectify. Some common minor faults include:

1. Mirror checks

  • Failing to check the rearview mirror before braking.
  • Not checking the side mirrors before changing lanes.
  • Not using the interior mirror when stopping or moving off.

2. Signal usage

  • Forgetting to signal when turning or changing lanes.
  • Leaving the signal on after completing a manoeuvre.

3. Positioning

  • Drifting out of your lane.
  • Incorrect positioning within a parking space.

4. Speed control

  • Exceeding or falling slightly below the speed limit.
  • Failing to adjust your speed for different road conditions.

5. Observation and awareness

  • Failing to check blind spots before making a turn or changing lanes.
  • Not reacting promptly to a hazard or road sign.

6. Control

  • Stalling the vehicle during a manoeuvre.
  • Not using the handbrake when required.
  • Overusing the brakes or accelerator.

7. Road positioning

  • Not maintaining a safe following distance from the vehicle in front.
  • Incorrect positioning of your vehicle for a turn or roundabout.

Major faults

Major faults are more serious lapses in judgment, which can make or break your driving test results. 

These indicate that you aren’t qualified or safe to drive, resulting in an automatic failure of your practical driving test. If you commit one or more of the following issues, you likely won’t pass this time around:

1. Dangerous maneuvers

  • Executing a dangerous overtake that endangers other drivers.
  • Cutting off another vehicle or forcing them to take evasive action.

2. Serious lack of control

  • Losing control of the vehicle in a way that poses a threat to safety.
  • Excessive speed, which jeopardises the safety of passengers and other drivers.

3. Disregard for traffic signs and signals

  • Ignoring a red traffic light or failing to stop at a stop sign.
  • Driving when it’s unsafe due to road signs or signals.

4. Failure to yield the right of way

  • Not allowing pedestrians to cross at a pedestrian crossing.
  • Failing to yield to vehicles that have the right of way.

5. Ignoring road markings

  • Crossing solid white lines or entering bus lanes when prohibited.
  • Making unauthorised U-turns.

6. Lack of observation

  • Not checking blind spots before changing lanes or merging.
  • Ignoring hazards or obstacles on the road.

7. Serious errors in parking and reversing

  • Mounting the curb while parallel parking.
  • Hitting another vehicle or object during a reverse manoeuvre.

Tips for avoiding common faults

Your first practical driving test can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. It’s hard to remember everything you’ve learned when you’re under pressure, but it doesn’t have to be so nerve-wracking. 

We recommend practising outside of your driving lessons. Information and commands are easier to process the more you go over them. For an understanding and skilled instructor, book with us for driving lessons across the North West.

It’s natural to be nervous before a test, but this can interfere with your performance. Practice mindful breathing beforehand and repeat positive affirmations to yourself to increase your confidence and self-belief. 

Avoid overthinking your actions, as this can lead to mistakes, and make it a habit to check your mirrors. You should always signal your intentions in advance to give other drivers time to react.

Understanding test feedback

Examiners typically provide a breakdown of the faults you committed, distinguishing between major and minor mistakes.

If you fail, don’t be discouraged. You can use the feeback you’re given to go over and practice any faults before re-taking the test. If you were just one major fault away from passing, it’s a sign that you’re close to success.

Your driving instructor can also provide additional guidance and tailor the lessons to address your specific weaknesses. Consider taking mock lessons before your next exam to build up confidence on the road. 

Choose Ashley Neal for your driving lessons

At Ashley Neal, we have a range of professional driving instructors ready to help you get on the road in no time. 

With manual and automatic lessons available, we can help you successfully prepare for your practical test, teaching you key skills for the road. 

Coined The North Wests Lead Driving School, our driving school is designed for both beginner and experienced drivers. We have helped thousands of learner drivers pass their theory and practical tests, and you could be next!

Browse our driving lessons or book your practical test with us today.