Most people, before their driving test, are feeling pretty nervous and excited. While some manage to channel this anxious energy into passing with flying colours, others can have different reactions to stress.
There are various reasons why people fail at the final hurdle of their practical test, but sometimes the outcome can be funny as well as disappointing for those who fail. We asked driving instructor Janet Cook, who has been in the industry for nearly a decade, and in turn she asked some friends of hers who are also in the industry to tell us some of the most ridiculous ways their students’ have failed their test.
Running out of steam
One instructor told how their pupil did a full reverse bay park without remembering to de-mist the rear window. Unfortunately, despite managing to get the position perfect, he did so without being able to see through the back window and consequently failed.
Perhaps this student felt they could rely on their intuition, but that could have ended with a very big bill if he’d hit another car. You’re tested on observation when you do a reverse bay park, so it’s really important that you can see out of the window.
Why does it always rain on me?
From one weather-related fail to another, this instructor told us her student forgot to put their windscreen wipers on in torrential rain. This might be something you initially overlook when the rain starts, but apparently even multiple hints from the examiner failed to alert him.
This young driver seemed to have good intentions, but pre-empted a completely incorrect outcome. The instructor said the pupil misjudged the lights, slowing as it went amber from green, but then driving straight through a red.
It’s no secret that running a red will cause you to fail your practical, even if your excuse was that you thought it was about to go green. Check the Highway Code if you’re worried you might make the same mistake.
This driving hopeful tried so hard, and fell so far, after doing almost everything right. Their instructor said the pupil put the car in first gear, which was appropriate for the surroundings, did all the necessary checks and released the handbrake ready to go. They had missed only one thing… Turning the engine on.
Feeling left out
At the start of your test, you’ll complete a section known as “show me, tell me” questions, where the examiner asks you to demonstrate basic knowledge of your car. One of those questions can include opening your bonnet, but being able to get back into the vehicle afterwards is certainly a prerequisite.
After leaving the keys in the car for his questions this student had a nightmare when he accidentally locked the keys in the car for this section. This granted him a fail before he’d even gotten in the car.
Show them the door
It seems like people just really can’t get the hang of using doors. One student reported back to their instructor that they forgot to close the drivers’ door properly, meaning as they moved off from the test centre it swung wide open.
Turning the air blue
This student had been cut up at a junction and let a serious case of road rage get the better of him. His reaction was to roll down his window and swear very loudly at the other driver. Needless to say he didn’t pass.
Using threatening behaviour towards other road users can see you breaching sections 4 and 5 of the Public Order Act. Breathing slowly and counting to ten seems like a far better option.
Taking a siesta at the wheel
Going round a mini-roundabout the wrong way was where this student failed. However, perhaps it’s his excuse that’s more worrying. He tried to get away with it saying he had just returned from a holiday in Spain.
Making a splash
One wannabe green license holder didn’t hold back, driving through a puddle at 30mph and soaking pedestrians on the street.
It’s frowned upon here, but did you know that in Japan this is actually illegal, and can land you with a fine of around £50?
He may be waiting a while
In a sweet yet absurd story, the tutor found out that his older student dutifully entered a queue of cars at the traffic lights during his test. There was just one catch: they were parked.
As silly as these reasons may be, it definitely makes you realise the importance of a test before taking to the roads. These mistakes can all be easily avoided by keeping a clear head and practice, but for those of you who do slip up, at least you have a story to tell your friends afterwards.
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