Top 8 most common mistakes on a road test

【考牌肥佬】八大路試學神常犯錯誤

Hong Kong's road test is notoriously difficult to pass in one go. As a result, getting your probationary driving license seems like a far-off dream. Depending on your needs, aspiring drivers may choose between taking driving lessons in private or at a driving school. Though there is something you can do to increase the odds of passing the road test. Familiarize yourself with past test-takers' top mistakes so you can learn to avoid them. Today at Kwiksure, we'll take a look at the most common mistakes students make on the road test. 

Road test tips

Examiners from the Quality Driving Instructor Course reveal the top 8 most serious driving mistakes that will lead you to fail immediately. 

1. Not checking the traffic condition before changing lanes

Out of all the top errors, this is the easiest to get wrong. It depends heavily on your examiner's interpretation. Make sure your shoulder-check does not look too exaggerated or over-the-top, and that the examiner sees it. Otherwise, you'll be seen as making the grave mistake of not paying attention to the traffic. Before you know it, you will have failed the road test.

Examinees should follow this set of standard gestures. First, angle your head to no less than 90 degrees to check the rear mirror. Then, turn to check your blind spot. Note that you should change lanes as soon as possible after the shoulder-check as the road condition changes fast.

2. Inappropriate driving speed

Oftentimes, students believe that the slower you drive, the safer you are. However, examiners would disagree. They believe that when traffic is smooth, driving too slowly will be obstructing traffic. Also, they may misinterpret it as a lack of confidence in your own skills. 

According to the road test instructions, the average driving speed should be between 30 km/h to 50 km/h. If you're driving on manual, try to use the third gear as often as you can. In short, once you sense that it's starting to get dangerous, slow down or stop your car to ensure safety.

3. Incorrect turning position

When you turn, you should follow the curve of the road. Don't drive too close to the curve while making a huge turn. Don't drive into the lane beside yours either. Also, when turning, take care not to drive too fast or turn the wheel too early or too late.

4. Did not choose your lane in advance, so you cut in and out of lanes quickly and without warning

To change lanes, you must perform the aforementioned set of gestures: turning to check the rearview mirror and then your blind spot. Try not to change lanes too often because it's easy to make mistakes. It increases the chance of you failing the road test.

5. Driving too close to other objects

What's considered as "too close" is left up to the examiner's judgement. The rule of thumb for this is that whenever you need to drive in close proximity to other objects, drive slowly or even stop the car if there's a need.

6. Driving errors that force the examiner's hands

During the test, when there's danger but you fail to respond, the examiner will take action. An example would be emergency braking. This is also a common reason most candidates failed in the past. Try to keep a proper distance from the vehicle in front of you. Also, maintain a slower speed. This way, even if an emergency occurs, you'll have enough time to respond.

7. Poor alertness and judgment

This is a tough one. Test-takers tend to make this error at intersections or when switching lanes. It's when the examiner judges whether your car should move forward or stay under certain circumstances. Of course, this really depends on the actual road conditions. Therefore, in the driving test, be extra cautious to keep your options open. It's better to wait than to drive too aggressively. 

Otherwise, you may be categorized as "not yielding to cars that have the right of way" or "driving too closely to objects". Alternatively, your examiner may simply be forced to step on their brakes. Any one of the above is enough for you to fail the exam.

8. Driving in Neutral gear 

This is only applicable to manual cars. It results from stepping on the clutch too early. Another cause would be the candidates' unfamiliarity when it comes to switching gears. Their indecisiveness leads to missed timing and so they end up driving in neutral. They say practice makes perfect. To avoid making this mistake, practice more with your driving instructor.

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Interested in learning more about getting a driver’s license in Hong Kong? Check out our easy-to-read infographics for obtaining a Hong Kong driver’s license for private cars

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