How do you prepare your learners for the practical tests? Do you include a spoonful of common sense? Guest blogger, Christopher Ord, shares his ‘tongue-in-cheek’ driving test faux pas.
The web is full of helpful information for learner drivers looking to pass their first driving test. There are pages upon pages of tips, guides and advice around the subject – but that’s not what you’ll find here. These are the 10 things you’d think nobody is stupid enough to try, but trust me – many have. And without guidance, this insanity is doomed to continue. So take heed: if your learner are doing any of these things during their driving test, you’re doing it wrong.
Leave the mirrors alone
You should be checking your mirrors before you pull away, but don’t spend 10 minutes making microscopic adjustments – claiming you’re almost there – every time you’re told to stop. And you absolutely, certainly shouldn’t break off the rear view mirror and ask the examiner if he could ‘just hold it at that angle’ for the next half an hour!
Please turn off all mobile phones
It’s suggested that you turn your phone off for your driving test – or, at the very least, put it on vibrate. But definitely don’t ask your examiner to hold the wheel while you reply to your friend’s message. And definitely, definitely do not try to impress your examiner by steering with your head while you reply – although some deeply unorthodox examiners might well be impressed, you’ll have guaranteed yourself a one-way ticket to Failsville.
I can more than appreciate the appeal of fast food – God knows it’s a gloriously simple concept. But leave your midday munchies in the waiting room, examiners have heard all the excuses in the book – and unless you’ve got a doctor’s letter saying you have low blood sugar you don’t stand a chance. Please don’t tell your instructor that you ‘just need to make a quick pit-stop…’ and then swing the car round into the McDonald’s drive-thru for a quick lunch break! Not acceptable.
Or a computer game nerd?
Sometimes it can be a bit awkward trying to make small talk before setting off. Maybe you could tell them how hard you’ve been studying, or how confident you are that you’re going to pass. But it is by no means recommended that you tell your examiner about the 9 hours practice you did last night – 4 hours on Mario Kart and another 5 playing Need for Speed! And I’m giving a great big no to comments about extra points for hitting pedestrians like when you’re at home hammering GTA V.
007: Licence to thrill
It’s one thing to try and impress the examiner by telling them about your technical knowledge on the inner workings of a combustion engine, and it’s another to show off to your friends with a loud exhaust and a botched attempt at a donut – but definitely do not get the two mixed up! Revving the engine and telling your examiner to buckle up with a twinkle in your eye can see your test finishing before it’s even begun – not to mention what’s going to happen if you try and throw down some donuts before you’re forcibly removed from the premises.
Yellow car, no returns!
Does anybody still play the ‘yellow car’ game? If you still consider this an acceptable and legitimate form of entertainment, I would very strongly recommend you do not punch your examiner for every yellow car that drives by. Think about it – what happens if you get an examiner built like a brick wall? It’s going to end painfully for you if it turns out he’s #1 at spotting yellow cars!
Leave the radio alone during your driving test – so you can hear instructions from your examiner. Absolutely do not take this as an opportunity to share your (not so) amazing vocal stylings to a prospective fan. And you’re adding insult to injury by slapping away his/her hand when they reach over to turn it off!
Have you met my friend Lizzie?
I would never ever recommend bribing anyone by saying ‘have you met my friend Elizabeth?’ – it’s just too much of a cliché. But beyond harming your street cred, it is actually against the law to bribe your driving test examiner. And the whole arm-around-the-shoulder trick might seem like a good idea to butter up the instructor, but you’ll be asking for a fail if your hands aren’t correctly placed at 10 and 2, won’t you?
The Fast and the Furious
Being fast and/or furious is not a desirable trait for any new driver, so do refrain from getting bursts of road rage when someone annoys you during your test – how would you like it if somebody screamed at you the next time you inevitably stall? But I’m think more along the lines of the movie – definitely don’t stare down the driver stopped next to you at every red light, and you certainly shouldn’t be revving the engine repeatedly and wheel-spinning away once it turns green!
Sure, you might be proud of your exciting social life – but try to refrain from telling your instructor about your sleepless night drinking with the lads the night before your test. And most certainly don’t pull over for a cigarette and a chinwag with your friend who you see walking past. It’s also not advisable to offer him a lift home in the test car – unless your aim is to fail miserably.
So there you have it – 10 things that, impossibly enough, against all logic and reason, some aspiring drivers have tried during their tests. Let this be a warning.
Guest post written by Christopher from the Car Loan Warehouse.