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Why people fail the driving practical test ?

Observation at junctions       
Ineffective observation and judgement - Not making effective observations and poor judgment when emerging out of side roads
Reverse parallel parking       Ineffective observation or lack of accuracy
Use of mirrors                          Not checking or not acting as per situation
Reversing around a corner   Ineffective observation or lack of accuracy
Incorrect use of signals        Not cancelling or giving misleading signals
Moving away safely       
Ineffective observation - Failure to move away correctly from stationary positions
Incorrect positioning       
At roundabouts or bends, Incorrect road position, usually on bends, and poor lane discipline on roundabouts
Lack of steering control       
Steering too early or too late, Poor steering control, such as when making left or right turns
Incorrect positioning       
To turn right at junctions and in one way streets
Inappropriate speed     
Going too slow or being hesitant. Hesitation causing delay, usually by not pulling out promptly at junctions

Common faults contributing to test failure

Driving faults:
  • Inadequate observation moving off at junctions,
  • At roundabouts and when changing lanes;
  • Failure to anticipate the actions of other drivers;
  • Inadequate observations to the rear;
  • Inadequate progress at junctions, roundabouts, on the straight, and when overtaking;
  • Incorrect or inadequate use of mirrors and signals;
  • Non-compliance with traffic controls, e.g. road signs and markings and traffic lights;
  • Incorrect inadequate or inappropriate use of vehicle controls, including gears, clutch; accelerator, steering, handbrake, footbrake, and secondary controls;
    excessive speed for the road or traffic conditions;
  • Failure to yield the right of way to others;
  • Lack of competence in the reverse and turnabout manoeuvres.

Motorcyclist - Driving faults:

  • Failure to perform a 'u' turn correctly;
  • Inadequate control at slow speed;
  • Incorrect road position on the straight, on bends, turning left, turning right, at roundabouts, and when overtaking
  • Incorrect or inadequate hand-signals.
  • The list of faults highlighted above is by no means exhaustive. You should, as indicated previously, study carefully the Rules of the Road and get as much practice as possible, in all types of traffic situations, in preparation for your driving test

Source - Driving Standard Agency

Practical pass rate statistics -

Practical car test pass rates by number of attempts, annual summary, Great Britain: 2011/12

Attempt Per cent of all passes Pass rate for attempt %
First 45.2 47.5
Second 25.6 48.2
Third 13.5 47.3
Fourth 7.1 46.0
Fifth 3.8 44.1
Sixth 4.9 39.2

Motorcycle tests

Module 1 pass rate of around 70.5%
Module 2 pass rate of around 17%

- Department for Transport statistics
Crown copyright material has been reproduced by permission of the Driving Standards Agency which does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the reproduction.
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