Why learners fail driving test in London - Junctions

One of the most common faults recorded why learner drivers do not pass the driving test in London is because of their inability to deal with junctions properly and safely according to the DSA examiner's requirements.
From my experience as a fully qualified London driving instructor of over 10 years, those that fail the driving test at junctions do so for a wide variety of reasons.

  1. Unable to identify the junction. if you don't know how to identify the different types of junctions that you might encounter during the driving test on a typical London road, then you have a problem that is most likely to lead to failure.
    Road signs, road markings, layout of the road, actions of other road users are all pointers to the fact that there might be a junction ahead.
  2. Diffrent junctions have seperate rules. some times a learner driver recognises a junction but does know what type or the rules that apply to it. I have seen many test candidates giving way to vehicles approaching from the left at a Mini Roundabout! Not knowing who has priority at a cross road is another common serious driver error. Not stopping at a junction with a Stop Sign is another fault often recorded, finally knowing the difference between emerging at a junction as opposed to turning from a Major Road to a Minor is another problem for learner drivers.
  3. Approaching a junction too fast. I don't know why some test candidates do this (Nerves could be an issue), but the faster you drive towards a junction, the quicker your reactions and thinking has to be. You can't copy the cars in front of you, and must make sure that it is 100% safe for you to enter a junction. The examiner does not care how long you wait at a junction as long as the only reason you are not proceeding is because you can't find a safe gap in traffic (which could be a couple of minutes during rush hour in central London).
  4. Know who has priority. Part of being ready for the driving test is knowing the highway code and what rules apply at each type of junction. If you are confident with this knowledge, then this will show in your driving skills, especially when you sometimes need to be assertive at a junction if you have priority to keep traffic flowing and avoiding un-due hesitaion.
  5. Practice to gain confidence and experience. You can approach the same junction 10 times, and each time the decision you need to make could be different, which is why to can never take too many driving lessons to gain enough experience not just to pass a test, but to ensure you are a safe driver, and can cope on your own once you achieve a pass and your instructor is no longer next to you offering advice.

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While there are many more reasons why you might not pass a driving test in London, if you conquer dealing with junctions you are on a major way to achieving the necessary skills that a DSA examiner will be looking, and should help avoid taking multiple attempts to pass the driving test in London.

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