Most Common Mistakes to Avoid During a Road Test

Taking a road test can be stressful, especially when you’re not sure what to expect! Knowing the normal pitfalls can help you avoid problems when the time comes. These common road test mistakes can cost you points on your driving test, which could prevent you from getting a license.

Failure to Keep Both Hands on The Wheel

You’ve heard the saying that you need to put your hands at 9:00 and 3:00, right? It’s true. But the important thing to remember is it to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times to maintain control of the car. When turning the wheel, turn it with both hands together. Never put your hands at the bottom of the wheel while you’re in the car with a driving instructor!

Failure to Check Both Mirrors

Your side-view and rear-view mirrors are in place for you to check traffic while changing lanes, turning, and also just generally while driving. Failure to check your mirrors at the key times could lead to accidents. However, you should also always briefly look over your shoulder when changing lanes and backing up. The DMV will fail students solely for relying on their mirrors, so be sure to “head check” or look over your shoulder as added precaution.


Tailgating is the act of following too closely while driving. As a general rule, you should always drive with at least three seconds (more if the conditions are bad) in front of the person in front of you. How can you tell how many seconds you’re driving behind someone else? When the person in front of you passes that feature, count for three seconds to yourself. If you pass that landscape feature in less than three seconds, then you’re following too closely. On the freeway and when traveling at higher speeds, leave more distance between you and the person in front of you.

Failure to Make a Full Stop

A stop sign is your signal to make a full and complete stop. Failure to stop all the way (called a rolling stop) is a common problem that can get you a ticket. How can you tell if you’ve stopped all the way? When your car comes to a complete stop, the back end will dip slightly. If you don’t feel the back dip, then you haven’t stopped yet. To ensure you’ve come to a complete stop, you can even say S.T.OP. to yourself.

Changing Lanes at the Wrong Time

Changing lanes is only allowed when it’s expressly permitted. A solid yellow or white line on the road is like a wall that is supposed to keep traffic inside their own lanes. Driving over a dashed white or yellow line is permissible. Before taking your road test, study the different types of lines, what they mean, and when you can change lanes. Also, never switch lanes when you’re in the middle of an intersection.

Driving the Wrong Speed

Driving over the speed limit is obviously a no-no, but sometimes driving at the speed limit is also dangerous. If you’re taking your driving test on a day when it’s icy, snowy, or rainy, slow down. If the driving conditions are good, then you should be driving at the speed limit. Don’t drive too slowly when you’re on the roads, or you could create unsafe driving conditions.

Are you worried about taking your driving test? Take classes with Fresh Green Light! We’ll help you grow into a safe driver, so the driving test will be no problem.

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