What Action Constitutes the Most Fails in Driving Tests?

Published by Chris Kriel on

What Actions Constitute the Most Fails in Driving Tests?

Taking your driving test can be a nerve-wracking experience. While many aspiring drivers pass on their first attempt, a significant number fail due to common mistakes. Understanding what actions typically lead to test failures can help you prepare better and increase your chances of passing. In this blog post, we'll highlight the most common reasons for driving test fails and offer tips on how to avoid them.

1. Observations at Junctions

Why it causes fails: Failing to make proper observations at junctions is one of the leading reasons for driving test failures. This includes not checking mirrors, failing to look both ways before entering a junction, or not assessing the traffic properly.

How to avoid it:

  • Always check your mirrors before approaching a junction.
  • Look both ways and ensure it's safe to proceed.
  • Take your time to assess the traffic conditions and never rush.

2. Incorrect Use of Mirrors

Why it causes fails: Incorrect or insufficient use of mirrors can lead to dangerous situations, making it a critical reason for test failures. This includes not checking mirrors frequently enough, especially when changing lanes, turning, or stopping.

How to avoid it:

  • Make it a habit to check your mirrors regularly.
  • Always check your mirrors before any maneuver, including turning, changing lanes, or slowing down.
  • Practice the “mirror-signal-manoeuvre” routine to ensure safety.

3. Inadequate Control of the Vehicle

Why it causes fails: Inadequate control of the vehicle can manifest in various ways, such as stalling, poor steering control, or not using the handbrake when necessary. These mistakes indicate a lack of confidence and skill in handling the vehicle.

How to avoid it:

  • Practice driving in different conditions to build confidence.
  • Focus on smooth steering and maintaining control, especially during turns and roundabouts.
  • Learn to use the handbrake correctly to prevent rolling on inclines.

4. Incorrect Positioning

Why it causes fails: Incorrect positioning on the road, whether it's at junctions, roundabouts, or on general roads, is a common mistake. This includes being in the wrong lane or not positioning the car correctly for turns.

How to avoid it:

  • Pay close attention to road signs and markings.
  • Practice positioning your car correctly in different scenarios.
  • Always plan your route in advance to avoid last-minute lane changes.

5. Lack of Proper Signalling

Why it causes fails: Failing to signal correctly or in a timely manner can lead to dangerous situations and is a common reason for test failures. This includes not signalling when changing lanes, turning, or pulling over.

How to avoid it:

  • Always signal in advance of any maneuver to inform other road users of your intentions.
  • Ensure your signals are clear and unambiguous.
  • Check that your indicators are working properly before starting your test.

6. Speeding or Driving Too Slowly

Why it causes fails: Driving at inappropriate speeds, whether too fast or too slow, can lead to a test fail. Speeding shows a lack of adherence to speed limits, while driving too slowly can be seen as a lack of confidence and can obstruct traffic flow.

How to avoid it:

  • Familiarize yourself with the speed limits for different roads.
  • Practice maintaining a steady speed that is appropriate for the road and traffic conditions.
  • Use your speedometer to ensure you are not inadvertently speeding.

7. Not Following Road Signs and Signals

Why it causes fails: Ignoring or misinterpreting road signs and signals can be dangerous and is a frequent cause of test failures. This includes running red lights, ignoring stop signs, or not following directional signs.

How to avoid it:

  • Stay vigilant and pay attention to all road signs and signals.
  • Understand the meaning of different signs and how to respond to them.
  • Practice driving in areas with various road signs to become familiar with them.

8. Poor Response to Hazards

Why it causes fails: A poor response to hazards, such as not slowing down for pedestrians or reacting late to obstacles, can result in a fail. Being able to anticipate and react to potential hazards is crucial for safe driving.

How to avoid it:

  • Always be on the lookout for potential hazards.
  • Practice defensive driving techniques to anticipate the actions of other road users.
  • Slow down and take extra care in areas with high pedestrian activity or potential hazards.


Failing a driving test can be discouraging, but understanding the common reasons for failure can help you prepare better and increase your chances of passing. Focus on making proper observations, using mirrors correctly, maintaining control of the vehicle, positioning correctly, signalling properly, adhering to speed limits, following road signs, and responding to hazards. Practice regularly, and consider taking lessons from a reputable driving school to build your confidence and skills.

Join us this Thursday at 7:30 PM (London Time) for our webinar on "What Action Constitutes the Most Fails in Driving Tests," where we will delve deeper into these common mistakes and provide expert tips on how to avoid them. Click here to register.

Good luck with your driving test preparation!

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