Getting a driver’s license in Florida is exciting, but first you’ll have to pass your driving test to demonstrate your skills and competence on the road. Before you get to that point, though, you’ll have to pass the written exam, so it is important to study your driver’s handbook to ensure you have the knowledge to achieve a passing score. Once that part is out of the way, you’ll be eligible to take the practical driving test, during which an exam administrator will monitor your adherence to the rules of the road and your capability and adaptability behind the wheel. The best way to ensure you pass your driving test is to get plenty of practice beforehand, but there are also a number of potential pitfalls to watch out for as well.
While making a single mistake might not automatically result in failure, several small mistakes can hurt your score enough to prevent you from passing. Here are a few of the most common mistakes people make during driving tests so you know what to avoid.
Rolling Through Stop Signs
If you have driven for any length of time, even under a learner’s permit, you have likely noticed that many people do not fully stop at stop signs. While you may see this as a common practice especially when there aren’t many other cars around, this is definitely not something you should do at all or during your driving test. It is against the law. On top of that, stress and anxiety during your test can make you more likely to rush through. Instead, take the time to fully come to a stop. You should feel your vehicle rock backwards a bit once your forward motion has stopped. Take a moment to take a breath before driving forward again to ensure you have fully stopped and your tester is aware.
Disobeying Speed Limits While Driving
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Many drivers drive faster than posted speed limits. This often happens when you attempt to maintain a pace with the flow of traffic. While police are generally unlikely to ticket you for going a few miles per hour over the speed limit, your driving test proctor will almost certainly dock your score. You can be penalized for going below the speed limit as well if your lack of speed inhibits the flow of traffic. Aim to stay as close to the posted speed limit as possible without going over it. Watch out for any changes in the speed limit as well, as they can change along with road conditions. In poor weather, drive a bit slower than the posted limit to ensure safety.
Not Entering Intersections Safely
As you drive through an intersection, your tester will be watching to see whether you look in both directions before entering, even on a green light. Although you have the right of way with a green light, there is always the possibility that a driver from the cross-street will run their red light, so it is important to be aware of what is happening on all sides. Of course, you should avoid running red lights during your driving test, and at any time you are driving, as well. As a general rule of thumb, if you are able to see the light turn red as you pass through the intersection, you should have had enough time to stop, rather than rushing through.
Unprotected left turns are another area of caution. While you may not encounter any during your driving test, it is still important to know how to proceed when you must turn left across traffic without the protection of a green arrow. Stay behind the line until you have a clear gap in traffic through which to make your turn, rather than sitting out in the middle of the intersection.
Maintain Your Road Skills After Your Test
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By following these tips and demonstrating safe driving skills, you should be able to pass your driving test relatively easily. No matter how good of a driver you are, though, you can’t always account for the skills of other drivers. If you are involved in an accident in Florida, Andrew Pickett Law is here to help.