Get Adobe Flash player

Urban Myths

Urban Myths & Old Wives’ Tales

Over the years I’ve heard some right old tosh about driving and learning to drive. Here are some commonly held misunderstandings, and some things that are just plain daft!

If you cross your hands when steering it’s an automatic fail on the test.

Not at all. The following is taken from the DSA Examiners’ Standard Operating Procedures:
“… only assess the candidate’s ability to control the vehicle and do not consider it as a fault if, for example, they do not hold the steering wheel at ten to two or quarter to three or if they cross their hands when turning the steering wheel. The assessment should be based on whether the steering is smooth, safe and under control.”

You won’t pass the test if you stall.

The examiner knows you may be nervous on test, and expects some mistakes like stalling. That is one of the main reasons you are allowed to make up to 15 minor driving errors and still pass. So unless by stalling you hold up a lot of traffic, or restart the car and drive away without checking if it safe, or stall continuously, it isn’t a problem.

If you make a mistake on the test its all over, you might as well give up and not bother.

I know of several examples of a pupil “giving up” when they didn’t need to, because they thought an early mistake was more serious than the examiner did. Try to forget about it and hope for the best.

You need to set the mirrors in the car so you have to move your head, then the examiner will know you are checking them.

The examiner is not daft. He knows when you should be checking your mirrors, and will be looking to see that you do. At the start of the test he will probably adjust his seat to be quite far back so he has a good view of your mirrors.

If you take the wrong turning during the test, you will fail.

There is no driving error if you simply go the wrong way, so long as it is done with the correct mirrors, signalling, positioning, speed and safe observations.

Nobody drives like that after the test

Well I do. Of course everyone will develop their own style of driving, and yes pick up some bad habits. Sometimes it’s laziness like leaning an elbow on the windowsill, or a hand on the gearstick, or slightly cutting the corner when turning right. You have to ask yourself if your “style” will keep you and every other road user safe.

If I fail my driving test my life is over, I am dead.

People can lose their perspective. Remember you can take the driving test as many times as you like, but you’re only allowed to pass it once!

If I wear a suit during the test the examiner will be impressed.

If it’s a nice suit, yes. Sadly it won’t make any difference to the outcome of the test.

Examiners come from another planet.

Not all of them.

Driving Instructors are just after your money.

I have been told about some instructors who do not seem to give value for money.  If you feel your instructor is taking your money but you’re not getting the training you need, chat it over with him. If you’re not happy with the answer, then maybe it’s time for you to go elsewhere! You are the customer.

Boys learn faster than girls.

Quite often young men will pick up the rudiments of car control very quickly. On the other hand I have also had the pleasure of teaching some young women who were just as quick to grasp the basics. As lessons progress to more complex traffic situations, it is often the boys who may struggle more to begin with.

Driving Examiners are only allowed to pass so many.

I don’t think that’s what is going on here. The DSA is very keen to provide a fair and above all consistent practical driving test. If over time an examiner seems to be passing or failing a lot of candidates compared to the national average and the test centre average, I believe the DSA would investigate.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Technorati
  • Live
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace