Driving test myths & Mistakes

Most common reasons for driving test failure

Myth: Driving examiners are only allowed to pass a certain number of applicants per week.

This is just not true. Perhaps this myth originates with those embarrassed by failure trying to come up with a convincing reason for family and friends. If you are up to driving test standard you will pass. It’s not meant to be easy, and the fact is that over 50% of applicants are just not up to the standard. Driving examiners don’t fail: you fail yourself.

Myth: Driving examiners enjoy failing learner drivers.

Examiners are professionals: their personal feeling do not enter into their assessment of you. Also, they have their bosses to report to – an unusual or inexplicable number of passes of failures would be looked into. Its easier for an examiner to give good news rather than bad, and a pass means less paperwork for them.

Myth: There is particular examiner who has tested me at the same test center several times and failed me because he does not like me.

It would be easy to blame a examiner for failure, but again, driving examiners are professionals. An examiner, whose work record showed to fail, for example women or a particular ethnic group, would soon be spotted. We would all like to blame someone else for our mistakes. The only way you will eventually pass is if you take responsibility for your performance and work hard to correct your faults. Talk to the experts at Smart driving school if you cant understand why you keep failing.

Mistake: taking the driving test in your own car.

This might seem like a good idea, but in fact it isn’t .the applicants who turn up in their own vehicles are usually those who have had no professional driving practice, or are so dangerous the driving school has not let them use their vehicle. The examiner will be aware of this from the beginning and it is likely to make him or her nervous. In addition, the car will not have a dual braking system, which may mean the driving examiner might intervene, verbally or physically, prematurely. Intervention by the examiner means failure, so you don’t want to increase the chances of that happening by using a car without the dual brake. You have a far better chance of passing if you use one of our smart driving school cars.

Mistake: delaying the learning and taking the test until you are older

There is no time to lose: younger candidates outperform their seniors in passing the test. According to study, the pass rate of 17 years old boy was 51% and for girls 48%. Students ten years older at 27 had pass rates of 43% and 36% respectively. At age 47 the rates went down further to 35% and 25%. But also in that period, the oldest candidate was female. The study says student needs 2 hours driving training for every year of life. In other words, if you are 17 you will need about 34 hours, and if you are 20 you will need 40 hours. All in that, it is easier and cheaper to learn at the youngest year possible. Anyone who has been ‘back to school’ or learnt a new skill knows that learning becomes more difficult as you get older.

Myth: My father told me he took only 5 hours of driving practice and passed first time.

This may have been possible in a dim distant past or perhaps he has ‘competitive dad’. The test has grown to match the changing conditions on the roads. There is an even larger number of cars, more complicated traffic conditions and signs and routes to follow. There is now also a theory test, reverse parking maneuvers and the uphill and downhill. 

Older drivers often acknowledge that they might have difficulty these days passing a test. According to study, estimates that a new learner driver needs a minimum 20 hours professional training with further 20 hours of private practice. You can console yourself that with a more serious, complex test, you will be a much more competent driver in a shorter space of time than your father. As soon as you pass, take him out on the road and impress him.

Mistake: Setting the minor slightly ‘off’ so the examiner can see you move your head which makes it more obvious you are checking the mirror regularly.

Driving examiners are trained to look for those small eye movements and are likely to be less than impressed by a mirror set at the wrong angle. Moving your whole head all the time will just distract you from effective observation.

Myth: Driving schools make you take more lessons than you really need.

We certainly don’t at Smart Driving School. It is not in any school’s best interests to have lots of learners taking lesson after lesson with no end result. We want our former students to spread the word about their success! We give you advice, and if you want an independent rough guide: you are ready to take your test if you can drive for an hour without the verbal aid or assistance of your instructor. The study says that most people fail simply because they take the test before they are ready.

The best advice we can give you at Smart Driving School is: trust the examining system and assume the examiner is a professional. Treat him or her with respect. If you have any issues or problems about a failed test, talk to us at the school and we will investigate if appropriate. Never tackle the examiner directly.

Most Common Reasons for Failure

Examine these closely and try to avoid them. As you can see, most are concerned with observation – so the next time your Smart Driving School instructor nags you, you can see its for a good reason

  • Failure to yield right of way to vehicles or pedestrians (particularly at intersections),
  • Unsafe lane changes such as failing to your check blind spots or failing to properly estimate speed of other traffic,
  • Disobeying traffic signals or signs, including not coming to a full stop at Stop Signs,
  • Improper turns such as turning into the wrong lane,
  • Impeding traffic by traveling too slowly or not moving the vehicle when you are given right of way,
  • Loss of control of the vehicle,
  • Speeding unnecessarily (when it is not required to safely merge with traffic),
  • Merging onto a highway more slowly than the speed of the highway traffic, and
  • An accumulation of too many minor driving errors that indicate insufficient overall driving skills.

The root cause of many of these errors is poor observation skills, or a lack of familiarity with appropriate driving techniques and laws in the Province of Ontario. It is important to recognize that the expectations in Ontario may be different than in other Provinces or Countries.