After dedicating long hours on tutorials, theory and practical driving lessons, students must score no more than 20 demerit points during their Practical Driving Test (PDT) to obtain a driver’s license. The PDT comprises of two components: First, the examiner will assess your skills on a driving circuit. Thereafter, you will be allowed onto the roads to test your ability to interact safely with other road users, which includes how well you can comply with traffic rules and regulations.
Granted, most first-time candidates will feel anxious as it is a nerve-wracking experience that requires concentration and sufficient preparation. So, these are a few tips to mastering one of the most significant tests of your life!
Know The Theory Of The Road
No matter how confident you are with the Highway Code, it is always advisable to run through the official handbook again to refresh your memory on the code of conduct. After all, students must demonstrate a clear understanding of the general rules and requirements of safe driving during their tests.
Practice On Possible Test Routes
Generally, your driving instructor would have taken you on several possible test routes to familiarise you with the area beforehand. Don’t hesitate to ask your driving instructor to go through the different aspects of the test and be receptive to feedback given because it creates room for growth. Turn this knowledge into an advantage – Keep practicing until you know every twist and turn like the back of your hand to avoid being caught off guard on the test date.
Select A Strategic Timing For The Test
Typically, traffic congestion and road accidents occur during peak hours, so selecting a strategic time slot based on the location of your driving centre can make all the difference. Driving during non-peak hours means there will be fewer distractions on the road and a lower chance that you will be stuck in a gridlock, which minimizes your stress from manoeuvring among so many vehicles.
Check Your Blind Spots On A Regular Basis
Before driving off, ensure that the car’s mirrors are set up in the correct position. The centre mirror should have the whole of the rear window in view and the side mirrors should have the horizon in the middle of the mirror with a good view to either side of the car.
In addition, being mindful of blind spot driving is an important part of being a defensive driver. Remember to check the mirror every 6 seconds, especially when making turns or reversing. Practising this habit will help prevent you and other road users from an easily-avoidable accident. After all, no one wants to get sideswiped, really.
Don’t Tailgate Other Vehicles On The Road
Stay safe by making sure the car’s back tires and bumper are clearly visible in front of you. Tailgating is both unnecessary and dangerous, as any sudden stops by car in front can lead to a collision. Keep behind any vehicle in front of you, for at least 2 to 3 car lengths.
Turn Signal To Indicate Your Intention On Switching Lanes
When changing lanes, it is compulsory to signal your intention beforehand so that other drivers are aware of the direction you are heading towards. However, always make sure that it is safe to proceed. When in doubt, slow down, stay in your lane and wait patiently for traffic to pass. Never cut someone off or switch lanes abruptly without checking.
Pay Attention to Your Speed
Be aware of the speed limits on different zones as exceeding the maximum speed limit is an offence that results in immediate failure. Similarly, driving too slow leads to 2 demerit points on your test. Driving within the speed limits reduces the amount of time it takes for you to react to changes on the road or flow of traffic and makes it easier for you to stop your vehicle if needed.
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Though it is difficult to predict the exact route of the driving test, weather conditions, or the accidents and difficulties that you might encounter on the day itself, students can ensure they are prepared by revising their driver knowledge and practicing safe driving conduct in the lead up to their driving test.
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