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After taking your driving lessons, the next step is taking your road test and proving that you can put all the theories you have learned into practice. But, apart from that, there are a few common things people fail during a road test.

It’s okay to feel nervous about taking the test, but you need to compose yourself and face the test with courage.

Several students fail their first attempt and are forced to book for another test.

Why do some students fail their driving test? Below are some of the most common mistakes students make while taking their tests.

So, if you want impressive road test results, watch out for the following mistakes.

Let’s dive in.

1. Driving Too Slowly

As a new driver, you may find yourself driving too slowly to avoid driving too fast. 

However, slow driving is as dangerous as fast driving, if not worse. When driving too slowly, you will interfere with the usual traffic flow.

The road contains different kinds of drivers, slow driving combined with other careless drivers can lead to accidents.

To avoid driving too slow, you must observe the specified speed limits in the area you are taking the road test.

Note that the speed limits tell you the maximum speed you should keep practicing a speed limit slightly lower than the specified one.

2. Unfastened Seat Belt

Most new drivers fall victim to forgetting to fasten their seatbelts on the test day. 

When you enter the vehicle, the first thing you should do is fasten your seatbelt, whether you are a passenger or a driver.

Nervousness, fear, and anxiety are some of the reasons you may forget to fasten your belt when taking your road test.

As simple as fastening the belt may look, it plays an essential part in awarding marks for your test, and you earn an automatic failure for not fastening it.

How do you ensure you remember to fasten the seat belt?

Well, make sure you practice fastening the belt every time you drive or the co-driver. After a while, it will become a norm, and you will have no struggles.

3. Inappropriate Lane Change

You need to concentrate when changing your lanes. The examiner will check whether you observe all the rules involved in the lane change. 

Any mistakes in the switch will lead to marking out your points.

Before changing your lanes, check if the lane you intend to move to is clear. Use your rearview mirror followed by your sideview mirror before changing your lane. 

Additionally, you must remember to signal at least 5 seconds before you start changing the lanes.

4. Incomplete Stops

Incomplete stops are among the common mistakes, and you ought to avoid them at all costs in your driving test for a good score.

As a new driver, you may find yourself slowing down and failing to complete the stop. Make a complete stop before you get to the demarcation line.

A rolling stop is considered illegal in New York, and it results in the failing of your test not to mention the fine between $75 and $500 that will befall you if you fail to stop.

Practice completely stopping at the road in your area to ensure you perfect it before the test. 

Consider putting your leg on the brake when approaching the stop sign for an efficient stop.

5. Not Using Mirrors

Mirrors are vital in checking your driving environment and the position of other cars on the road. 

You can see an upcoming hazard with the mirrors, and you will figure a way out.

The examiner is very keen to see if you use the mirrors regularly and adequately.

For a better score, keep checking your side and rearview mirrors after every 5 to 10 seconds. As a new driver taking the road test, check the mirrors more than in everyday driving.

6. Car Failure

The car you plan to use in the road test must be in good condition. 

It must meet the legal guidelines for the use, including functional headlights, working brake lights, and a working windshield.

 NY DMV won’t allow you to take your test on a car with an expired registration, emission checks, or an inspection that isn’t up to date.

When approaching the test day with the help of your instructor, perform a self-inspection on the car to ensure your mirrors are in good condition and all other parts are functional.

Additionally, clean up the interior to remove all trash and personal items that can slide and be hazardous when driving.

To avoid last-minute disappointment, sort out all your registration issues and ensure all your documents are updated. If your issues are not sorted, you must reschedule the test.

7. Driving Too Fast

When taking your test, you may fall victim to driving too fast. Keep up with the given speed limit to be safe regardless of how prepared you are for the test.

Overspeeding is dangerous and causes accidents. You earn yourself an automatic failure for overspeeding.

Overspeeding may be caused by anxiety; practice regularly before the test, and you will feel more relaxed while taking your test.

8. Excessive Brake Application

Braking is not just about stamping on the brake pedal. There is a good way and a wrong way of doing so. Use enough brakes to stop or slow down the car.

Applying the brakes harshly and roughly will cause you to be deducted marks on your test. Familiarize yourself with your car brakes to know how soft or hard they are.

In the case of an emergency, hard brakes are allowed to slow down or stop.

Always apply your brakes consistently and do it gently; you can slowly increase your pressure depending on the distance ahead. Continued practice will increase your breaking skills before your test day.

9. Unsureness at the Four-Way Stop

To approach and tackle a four-way stop is something you ought to take your time to master. When at this stop, you are expected to do what is required without fail.

You need to show that you are familiar with the four-way stop and earn more marks, avoid prolonged stops to avoid confusing other drivers.

Rules on a four-way stop are straightforward: whoever arrives first at the four-way stop leaves first, and if all drivers arrive simultaneously, the driver on the right side should go first.

10. Following Too Closely

It’s advisable to keep your distance. Following a car too closely is risky. If your examiner observes that you are not keeping distance, your marks will be deducted.

Keep a reasonable following distance to allow you to act upon an emerging issue such as an accident.

Prepare well for your test and keep your distance during practice, and you will be at ease during the test.

11. Ignoring the Traffic Signs

Ignoring traffic signals during a road test is a common mistake often caused by nervousness, lack of preparation, distractions, or overconfidence. These factors can lead drivers to overlook or misinterpret signals, resulting in errors such as failing to stop at red lights or disregarding stop signs.

12. Not Signalling Properly

Not signaling properly during a road test is a common mistake often due to factors like nervousness, lack of understanding of signaling rules, distractions, or overconfidence. These factors can lead drivers to forget to use signals when changing lanes, turning, or merging, which is essential for safe and lawful driving.

What is the hardest thing on the road test?

The hardest thing on a road test can vary depending on the individual driver and the specific test format, but several common challenges tend to arise:

Nerves and anxiety: For many drivers, especially new ones, the biggest hurdle is simply managing their nerves and anxiety. Being under pressure in an unfamiliar situation with an examiner watching can easily lead to mistakes.

Parallel parking: This maneuver often ranks high on the difficulty list, requiring precise control, spatial awareness, and the ability to handle pressure under time constraints. Some test areas may have challenging parking scenarios, adding to the difficulty.

Defensive driving and situational awareness: Beyond specific maneuvers, demonstrating good decision-making, anticipating hazards, and maintaining proper spacing can be tricky. Some drivers struggle with interpreting complex traffic situations or reacting quickly to unexpected events.

Backing up and turning: While not as prominent as parallel parking, maneuvering in reverse and making complex turns can be challenging, especially when needing to maintain correct positioning and safety protocols.

Specific road rules and signs: Each testing area has its own rules and signs, and remembering them all while under pressure can be difficult. Missing or making mistakes on specific rules can lead to test failure.

Overall driving smoothness: Beyond individual maneuvers, maintaining smooth, controlled driving throughout the test is essential. Jerky movements, harsh braking, or abrupt lane changes can be perceived as errors in judgment or lack of control.

Remember, the best way to overcome these challenges is to practice extensively with a qualified instructor, familiarize yourself with the test format and common areas, and stay calm and focused during the actual test.

What part of the driving test do most people fail?

While there’s no official data, parallel parking, maintaining safe distances, turning/lane changes, stop signs/signals, yielding, defensive driving, smooth driving, and managing nerves are common pitfalls during the NY driving test. Practice and familiarity with the specific format can help you overcome these challenges and ace the test.

Final Word

Getting familiar with the above tips will help make passing the driving test easier. It will be easier once you practice correctly and go through your notes. Please familiarize yourself with your test road and the signs imposed on them. With our Pierre Paul Driving School instructors, you will be confident to take your DMV test.

Consider taking the 5-hour driving course to enhance your confidence behind the wheel, too.