Preparing for the License Test: Common Mistakes New Drivers Make


If you’re a new driver preparing to take your road test, or if you’re a parent getting a teen ready for their test, you might be wondering what to avoid. Today, we’re looking at a few pesky habits that new drivers have and how you can train yourself to break them before your test.

Remember: stay calm. Your test proctor will be able to tell if you’re tense and nervous while driving. People who tense up and panic will perform worse on the road than those who stay relaxed.

Don’t Touch That Dial

Don’t turn the radio on during the test. You might want to break up an awkward silence by turning on some tunes, but the test proctor probably won’t appreciate that. Try to refrain from humming or singing to yourself, too.

Don’t try to make small talk with the proctor, either. They’re focused on your driving performance, and they won’t want to try to split their attention between a conversation and your driving ability.

Constant Speed

Don’t slow down while you’re taking the test. You might think that it’s safer to move at a snail’s pace when you’re taking the driving test. It’s not! Your test administrator wants to see you stick close to the speed limit. Try to keep the vehicle within ten miles per hour of the speed limit without going over. Maintaining a consistent velocity is vital to slip into typical traffic patterns.


You need to use your headlights even if it’s daylight outside. You might fail the driving test if you fail to turn on your headlights during inclement weather. Many states have laws that require drivers to use their headlights anytime they need their windshield wipers.

If there is any precipitation, err on the side of caution and turn on your headlights. You’re not using them so you can see the road. Turn them on to allow other drivers to see you through the rain or fog!

Turn Signal

Turn signals are for more than turning onto new roads parking lots. You must use your turn signal when you change lanes and before you pull off the road to park. Your test administrator will check to see if you’re using your turn signals ahead of every road maneuver you make.

Use your turn signals even when there are no other drivers around. This behavior should be second nature.

Bumping the Curb

You need to avoid contacting the curb or sidewalk while parking. If the test administrator feels the car bump into the curb when you’re parallel parking, you’ll probably fail the test. Practice parking often! Parallel parking isn’t that bad once you have muscle memory on your side.