DSA Driving Test Maneuvers Instructor Advice

On the 4th of October 2010 the driving standards agency (DSA) responsible for conducting the driving test in the UK, made an important change to the practical test by introducing a 10 minute independent driving element to the test, and reduced the number of maneuvers required to just one, so you now have a lower chance of failing the driving test doing a manuever.

Here in the UK, you will be required to do at least 2  1 maneuver during your driving test as part of the practical car assessment. Turn in the road (formerly called 3 point turn), bay parking (reversing into a limited opening), parallel/reverse parking and reversing around the corner to the left are the driving skills that will need to covered, as you don't know which of these the DSA examiner will require you to perform in order to pass the driving test.

Many learner drivers fail to pass the current UK driving test on manuovers due to simple driver errors that could easily be avoided, and would only cost a little extra effort on the candidate's part.

Key driving maneuver skills

The video above shows you how to do the parallel parking exercise to the desired DSA standard. It was shot in a Toyota Yaris, but the reference points should work in other vehicles.

The key driving skills that the DSA examiner is looking for while performing manoeuvres on the driving test are ability to carry out the set exercise correctly in a safe manner and under control. This is one of the reasons why a lot of foreign licence holders have problems passing the driving test, they can do the maneuver okay, but according to the standards required, it was not safe or the examiner deemed the driver not to be in complete control of the car all the way through the exercise.

So what does the potential full British licence holder have to do to get that coveted pass cerificate and succeed while carrying out maneuvers on the practical car assessment?

Know what is the required standard for each set exercise, in particular that you must look through the rear windscreen when reversing, and not use the interior mirror to look behind (it doesn't matter if you hold a foreign international licence and have used this method for 10, 15 years without an accident), as this is not safe according to the DSA whether you agree with them or not.

Get a free Giffgaff Sim

Keep the car slow while performing any maneuvers, making sure you start with the POM routine system, and continue to take effective observations throughout the maneuver giving way to other road users (including pedestrians) where necessary. If in doubt as to whether it is safe to proceed or not, stop and secure the car using the handbrake, have a good look all around and then continue, always using POM. You should not rush to complete the exercise, safety should be paramount, while avoiding undue hesistation. This is where having the advice of a professional instructor can help with passing the driving test, as they have the experience and knowledge to be able to guide you through the various scenarios that you might encounter on each maneuver.

Left reverse round the corner

Reversing round the corner to the left (or right if you do the test in a van without a rear windscreen) is in my opinion the hardest driving test maneuver that a learner driver can be asked to perform by the DSA examiner, especially on a busy road, and this is why it is important that you have had enough practise of carrying out this driving test maneuver on various roads with different degrees of bends on the corners and also on busy roads as well as quiet ones.

Parking Brake and Maneuvers

It is not compulsary to used the parking brake (handbrake) if you stop while performing a maneuver, but the extra effort and time required to do this could potentiallly prevent you from committing a serious driver error if the car rolled out of control and hit the kerb, goes forward when you are trying to move off up a slight hill.

official guide to passing uk driving test
If you are struggling with the maneuvers, then you might want to get the DSA official guide to passing the driving test, which contains videos clips from an actual official driving test being conducted by an examiner and a user guide with step by step explanations to show you how everything should be done to the required dsa standard.

In summary, while you might think that maneuvers can be difficult, there is no reason why you can not pass the driving test no matter what set exercise you get, as you can practice all of them until you can perfectly carry them out.

Are You Ready For The Driving Test

Did you know that the number one reason many candidates do not pass the UK driving test is JUNCTIONS? Are you ready for the DSA examiner?

Common Driving Test Mistakes
I am going to list below some of the most common mistakes that candidates make on the UK driving test and gets them a serious or major dsa fault.

1. Observations: You need to make sure that you take effective observations before you commence and during your driving test manuevers. Safety should be your main concern, and if for any reason you are not sure, stop check and then continue. Pedestrians can come from anywhere, and they can esily be missed, so be slow and observant.

2. Junctions: This is the number one cause of failure on the UK car driving test, and covers roundabouts, T-junctions and being able to emerge safely, speed on approach to a junction. Undue hesitation and knowing when it is safe to proceed without being a danger to other road users. The video below should be of help in this area.

3. Road signs and markings: Most candidates concentrate mainly on speed limits, but there is more important information or instructions that signs or markings might be giving you as a driver. If you cross a solid white line for example, it could be a failure, lanes closures on dual carriaways, temporary lights or road works are all things that you need to be aware of.

4. In-Correct use of signals: On the driving test, the DSA examiner expects you to be able to correctly use signals and indicators to inform other road users of your intentions. You need to signal in good time, if necessary, and cancel the signal after turning, exiting a roundabout or changing lanes on a dual carriageway.

Don't forget the highway code is the standard expected, so master it as it could save you from make a simple error that would result in failure, revise it when not taking practical lessons!


The Instructor said...

great blog. I too have a driving blog - shall we do a reciprocal link?


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