The time has come to test your pedal skills. Soon, you will be taking a California driver’s test to challenge the notion of receiving your California Driver’s License. You could be a coming-of-age teenager or an anxious adult. No matter your background or history to this point, you have two goals: pass your CA Driver’s Test and avoid going to traffic school.
You may want to be aware of the most common mistakes and flaws students make during their behind-the-wheel test.
Nothing is worse than finally being able to enroll in a CA drivers ed course only to fail the final test. That’s why we’re helping you along your journey to becoming a certified car operator in the state of California. Below, we’ve listed the top CA driver’s test mistakes, so you can practice and make perfection.
Striking the sidewalk will count as an automatic failure in most states. Hitting the curb in California is considered a critical driving error and will result in a failing grade/result. When driving, pretend the curb is lava and avoid it all costs – unless that just freaks you out.
Parallel Parking Poorly
You’re not a California resident if you don’t know how to parallel park. Get in the next available vehicle to practice the most putrid parking procedure before your big day. Parallel parking is a required field, and most people do it poorly.
Lane Lines and Merging Maneuvers
Keep a tight eye on the lanes on the road. If you fail to stay within the lines, you should expect to be docked some points. Similarly, merging onto highways, lanes, or other roads will be a critical part of the test. Impress your driving tester by nailing it on your first attempt. Don’t forget to flip on that turn signal.
Sort of Stops (Rolling Stops/California Stops)
Sort of stops, rolling stops, or California stops – whatever you like to call the process of rolling up to a stop signs, not coming to a complete stop, and driving away, is up to you. Never perform one of these stops while being tested. “Sorta” stops aren’t stops. They’re the biggest reason for failure among people who test and are in a rush. Remember to take your time, relax, and go along with the drive. Just because you live in California doesn’t give you the right to do a California stop.
Never bully your driving instructor. We get it – you’re the captain of your high school football team (or WERE the captain of your high school football team), but that doesn’t give you the right to bully your geeky driving instructor. We don’t care if his glasses take up 3/4ths of his face he’s holding an old-school clipboard. Jokes aside – having a positive attitude will persuade driving instructors be lenient when grading you. Aggressive, angry drivers perform worse and are graded harsher.
Sudden stops are jarring to experience. As a future driver, you must find the perfect balance between the sorta-stop and brake-busting. Rolling up to a stop sign, coming to a complete stop, and not braking harshly is a fine art that all drivers will have to perfect.
Always drive the speed limit in the area you’re in. Driving too slowly or driving over the speed limit will result in a deduction on your test results. There are speed limit signs for a reason, so use them as a reference to determine how quickly you should travel in a zone. It’s simple, but often overlooked.
As a general reminder, never text and drive – especially on your driving test, it’s the law. Affected attention shouldn’t be an issue when you’re behind the wheel of a car. Put away the phone and focus up on that concrete road you’re driving on.
Tailgating is never smiled upon. Tailgaters will be judged critically by the driving tester and everyone else on the road. Follow the 2-second-rule when keeping distance between you and the car in front of you. California can be compact on the roads, but that doesn’t mean tailing the person in front of you will help.
Four-way stops can easily confuse people. Remember, when two cars arrive at a stop sign at the same time, the person to their right has the right of way. If you take that tidbit with you into your test, you’ll leave a great impression on your tester. Well, so long as you don’t give him a swirlie.