Top Reasons People Fail Their Driving Test

Feb 07, 2024

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Top Reasons People Fail Their Driving Test

By the end of 2023, Great Britain had around 52 million licensed drivers. This included about 42 million full licenses and approximately 10 million provisional licenses. These numbers become quite plausible when one finds themselves in a traffic jam on the M25, surrounded by vehicles stretching endlessly in both directions.

Despite these large figures, obtaining a driving license isn’t easy. In the year ending March 2023, the pass rate for car tests was below 50%. Specifically, the theory test pass rate was 44.2%, and the practical test pass rate was 48.4%.

Who's Passing and Who's Failing?

Pass rates between male and female drivers are close, with females slightly outperforming males in theory tests (45.8% vs. 42.9%), while males slightly outscore females in practical tests (50.2% vs. 46.4%).

Age, however, has a significant impact. The highest pass rate was among drivers aged 17 and under (59%). Pass rates decline consistently with age, reaching a low of 36% for those aged 60 and over.

Top 10 Reasons for Failing the Driving Test

So, what causes over half of practical driving test candidates to fail? Here's a list of the top 10 driving test failure issues from the year ending March 2023. If you’re taking your test in 2024, pay close attention to these common faults:

  1. Ineffective Observations at Junctions
    • Essential observations at junctions are crucial for road safety. Failing to judge the speed of an approaching vehicle correctly can force another driver to brake abruptly to avoid a collision.
  2. Improper Use of Mirrors When Changing Lanes or Turning
    • Checking blind spots and mirrors is essential to avoid collisions when changing lanes or positioning for an exit on a roundabout.
  3. Failing to Move Off Safely
    • Safe movement involves checking blind spots and mirrors to ensure no endangerment or inconvenience to other road users.
  4. Incorrect Road Positioning When Turning Right at Junctions
    • Proper positioning includes using lanes correctly on roundabouts and leaving adequate space for vehicles to pass when waiting to turn right.
  5. Poor Steering Control
    • Maintaining a secure grip and steering without crossing arms excessively is crucial. Poor control can lead to bumping the kerb or understeering at junctions.
  6. Incorrect Observation and Reaction to Traffic Lights
    • This includes running red lights, stopping in cyclist zones, and not proceeding timely on green. Ensuring a clear path before entering a junction on green is also vital.
  7. Improper Response to Road Signs
    • Drivers must observe and comply with road signs, such as "Stop," "No Entry," and speed limit signs, to avoid violations.
  8. Poor Road Positioning During General Driving
    • Drivers should stay centered in their lane and avoid swerving, driving too close to the kerb, or unnecessarily occupying the right-hand lane on dual carriageways or motorways.
  9. Failure to Comply with Road Markings
    • Drivers must follow arrows, avoid crossing double lines, and ensure a clear exit before entering a box junction.
  10. Ineffective Vehicle Control During Reverse Parking
    • Proper parking techniques include avoiding mounting the kerb, parking within marked bays, and maintaining a correct position.

Passing driving tests can be challenging and stressful, but these requirements ensure safer driving and minimise road inconvenience. The effort and expense of learning to drive and passing the tests are worthwhile investments when considering traffic accident statistics.

Drive safely.