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License Test Tips: Common Mistakes to Avoid During Your Road Test

If you're looking to obtain your driver's license in the near future, then there's a good chance you'll need to take both a written driving exam and a physical road test. Both tests present their own unique challenges, but many drivers find themselves most nervous about the road test. Fortunately, you can take your road test as many times as you need to until you pass, but of course you want to pass on your first time around. By keeping some basic license test tips in mind and avoiding the following common mistakes, you'll be in a better position to pass.

Not Being Aware of Your Surroundings

One of the biggest mistakes drivers make during their road tests is failing to be aware of their surroundings. Your road instructor will be keeping an eye on how often you're checking your mirrors, looking over your shoulder before you pass, and looking both ways before you cross an intersection. Therefore, you'll want to make an effort to check your mirrors and visually assess your surroundings as much as possible.

Failure to Adjust to Road Conditions

If it happens to be raining, snowing, foggy, or even windy on the day that you take your road test, make sure you adjust your driving appropriately! Your instructor will be judging how well you're able to operate your vehicle in adverse and hazardous weather conditions, and failure to adjust for inclement weather could hurt your score.

Specifically, be sure to slow down and increase following distance between vehicles if roads are slick or if visibility is low.

Driving Without Both Hands on Wheel

As you get comfortable with driving, you might develop the tendency to drive with just one hand on the wheel. However, when it comes time for your road test, you'll want to make a concentrated effort to keep both hands on the wheel at all times. Taking one hand off the wheel even for a few seconds could result in a lower score. Although it won't likely cause you to fail your road test altogether, when combined with other mistakes, the risk is there. Specifically, try to keep your hands at "two and ten" as you drive, just as you were taught in driving school.

Traveling Too Far Below the Speed Limit

Speeding is a pretty obvious no-no when you're taking your road test, but you'll also want to be careful about driving under the speed limit. All too often, nervous drivers will be so worried about driving over the speed limit during their road test that they end up driving below the limit. Unfortunately, driving below the speed limit--especially on the freeway--can be just as dangerous as speeding. Try to travel at a consistent speed and as close to the speed limit as possible.

Following Too Closely to Other Vehicles

Last but not least, make sure to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and others on the road--especially vehicles in front of you. Your instructor will be grading you on your ability to maintain a safe following distance based on your surroundings. On the freeway, you'll need to keep a longer distance than you would on a residential side street; this will make sure you have plenty of time to stop or swerve out of the way in the event that the car in front of you abruptly stops.

These are just a few of the most common mistakes people make during their road test. By being careful to avoid these mistakes and taking advantage of online training and preparation, you'll have a much better chance of being able to pass your road test on your first try. Good luck!

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