If you're diligently studying for your driver's exam, then you probably know all the important road laws and signs. But that doesn't mean you won't make some silly mistakes on Exam Day.
Many drivers fail their driving test because they make these regrettable goofs – even when those drivers have studied the guidebook for weeks. In many cases, this is because they aren't paying attention, or because they were nervous, or they just don't know any better.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that will derail your chances of passing your drivers' exam.
Test instructors purposely take drivers onto busy roads to see how they do under pressure. And when cars are whizzing by, nervous drivers tend to drive faster. Unfortunately, they often go above the speed limit. Going over the speed limit is a guaranteed way to fail your exam, so pay attention to the signs.
2) Failure to make a full stop at stop signs
At a stop sign, some drivers creep slowly forward to make sure no cars and coming, and when they're certain it's clear, they proceed. That's great – but if you don't make a complete stop at the sign, then your exam will be done—FAIL. Be sure to stop the car completely, for at least 2 seconds. And to be safe, if you need to creep forward to get a better view of the intersection, drive forward and then stop completely again.
3) Checking your phone
This one is simple: don't bring your phone with you at all. Or if you must carry it, turn it off completely before the exam begins.
4) Not signaling
Don't forget to signal when making turns, changing lanes or pulling over – even if there are no other cars in sight. Your exam instructor will be watching you make sure you signal properly.
5) Forgetting to put your seatbelt
Oops! Forgot to clasp your seatbelt before beginning to drive? In most states, the instructor will end the exam immediately if you make that mistake.
6) Not knowing how to operate your vehicle
Make sure you are familiar with the vehicle and know how to operate all the key signals and functions: emergency brake, headlights, windshield wipers, turn signals, hazards, and others.
7) Failure to drive straight
Yep, this is actually a big problem for test-takers. Many people simply cannot handle steering the vehicle – often because they haven't driven that particular car enough to feel comfortable. If your instructor notices that you're not driving straight or taking dangerously wide turns, your exam will be a failure.