Passing the Class 5 Road Test is all that stands between your teen’s freedom, and their reliance on you to taxi them around. Around 35% of applicants fail their first road test. This makes the need for driver education training from a reputable driving school more important than ever.
Rick Lang, AMA Driver Education’s Manager of Operations, says to be leery of driving schools that advertise extremely high pass rates. “They may be teaching to the level of the road test only rather than teaching your teen how to be a safe and confident driver.” Some schools don’t cover the challenges that drivers face every day, such as traffic circles, one-way streets, merging, freeways, and complex intersections. Here are some common areas that trip up new drivers during their road test.
1. Not Enough Time Behind the Wheel
Becoming a safe and confident driver requires practice — lots of practice. Lack of confidence, skill, and control are all related to one thing: not enough practice to gain minimal experience in everyday driving situations.
If your teen can’t comfortably handle common situations, such as making a left-hand turn or proper lane change, they’ll lose points on their road test. We recommend students spent a minimum of 50 to 60 hours in traffic to gain the experience and confidence to safely handle themselves on the road with other drivers.
And don’t think that your teen’s driving is any better because they grew up on a farm. Driving a farm truck around the “back forty” has likely improved your teens’ skill and control with a vehicle, but what about when they drive in an urban area and have to share the road with others?
2. Unsafe Action
There are two surefire ways your teen will know they’ve messed up during their road test:
- If the examiner has to take physical control of the car or tell you how or when to do it.
- If they get honked at.
Both are bad and can be the result of unsafe practices behind the wheel, like improper and dangerous lane changes or failing to check for oncoming traffic before a turn or merge.
3. Moving Violations
If your teen breaks the law (driving even slightly over the speed limit or rolling stop at a stop sign, for example), they may fail. No matter how small the infraction, or even if ‘everyone else is doing it.’ The tester has a long list of things they’re watching for and every tick in a checkbox could lead to failing the test.
A Minor Bump in the Road
The road test doesn’t have to be a scary experience. For a well-educated new driver who’s graduated from a respected driving school, and who’s taken the time to get adequate hours behind the wheel, the road test experience is a very minor speed bump on the road to years of safe driving.
AMA Driver Education
Our New Driver Programs will teach you to feel safe and confident behind the wheel. Learn more about the driver education courses we offer.
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