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Student Drivers: 8 Impor­tant Driving Mistakes to Not Make on your Driver's Test

May 8, 2018

Are you prepared for your driver's test?

Getting a driver's license is a huge milestone in our lives. It's something we are proud of and something we will use almost daily. That's why it is so important to get in as much practice driving as we can before the big test. Not to mention,all your careful preparation can be undermined by nerves and stress, causing you to make a single mistake. Before your test, research and read about these eight common driving mistakes people make on their test and what you should do instead.

1. Rolling stops

Rolling through a stop is one of the most common and dangerous mistakes you can make while driving. Do this on your road test and you’ll be rewarded with an automatic fail – no exceptions. When approaching a stop sign, come to a complete stop and scan the area in front and around you before proceeding. If you approach a four-way stop intersection at the same as the vehicle on your right, they will have the right-of-way and will be driving first.

Rolling stops can also happen at red lights. Although turning right on reds is allowed on most roads in Canada, it’s vital to make a complete stop before doing so. A rolling stop at intersection can be dangerous for pedestrians who are relying on the vehicle to make a complete stop.

2. Speeding

Driving too fast is a common mistake new drivers can make on their test, especially if they speed through a school zone. It's important to pay attention to speed limit signs and adjust your speed accordingly. Speeding can be dangerous to you, to your driving instructor and to other drivers around you.

3. Not checking their blind spot

It's important to look at your car mirrors, but checking your blind spots is crucial too. It's a top driving defensive mechanism to help prevent road collisions.

Remember: although you may to check your blind spot, make sure your examiner knows that you are. Exaggerate your shoulder checks to show you’re taking the proper precautions before turning or changing lanes.

4. Not having proper hand positioning

At your driver's test, make sure you have at least one hand on the steering wheel at all times. If you are driving an automatic vehicle, place both hands on top of the steering wheel exercising proper hand-over-hand motions when turning. If you are driving a standard vehicle, always have both hands on the wheel except when you have to change gears.

5. Not adjusting for changing road conditions

There's always the possibility your driving test could be scheduled for a day with heavy rain or snowfall. Don't panic! If you can show the examiner you can adjust and remain calm while driving in bad weather, you will have a better chance of passing. Be sure to drive more slowly and increase your following distance.

6. Being too hesitant

It’s true, being too hesitant behind the wheel can be seen as a driving mistake. Driving too slow can not only be a sign of lack of confidence, but also potentially dangerous. Driving too slowly can possibly create unsafe road conditions.

If you are planning to make a turn, lane change or merge onto a highway, make sure you do so efficiently and confidently. Try not to show any signs of hesitant or fear.

7. Not changing a lane correctly

Similar to being too hesitant, make sure you understand and demonstrate the steps to properly change lanes.

  1. Look first.
  2. Use your signals to show which way you are turning.
  3. Check your side and rear view mirrors for approaching cars.
  4. Look over your shoulders to check your blind spots.
  5. When it is safe to do so, change lanes confidently.

Don’t forget to watch your speed and for any traffic in front of you.

8. Being distracted

Distracted driving is a driving don’t and shouldn’t be a mistake on your test. Before the test, turn off your cell phone. If your examiner will allow you to listen to the radio, find a station you know you already like or set up your own playlist beforehand with back-to-back songs or soothing music, you won’t shuffle through. Clear your mind, take a deep breath and focus on showing the examiner that you are a smart and safe driver.

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These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.

In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.