Concerned about what'll happen if you get stuck in traffic during your driving test? Well, let us clear things up: you'll get an immediate fail and be banned from the roads for life. Juuust kidding!
But, seriously, you'd be surprised how many learners worry about this. When it comes to rush hour tests and the prospect of getting stuck in heavy traffic, the driving myths are ten a penny. The truth is out there, as they say, but it can be pretty hard to find. Thankfully, though, PassMeFast is here to set the record straight and put your mind at rest.
Read on to find out the best (and worst!) case scenarios if you get stuck in traffic on the driving test...
Image source: Jon Tyson
Once you start digging, you'll find that there are reams of articles available regarding the perfect time to take a driving test. The ultimate truth, though, is that the time you take your practical is not going to determine whether you pass or fail. Stop focusing on factors like this and put your energy into the driving itself. Sure, different times of day often come with different driving conditions, but you can never really predict what's going to happen on the UK's roads!
Of course, you're more likely to find yourself stuck in traffic on the test if your appointment falls around rush hour. So, if your test is scheduled for any time around 9:00am or 5:00pm, you can expect more people to be on the road.
We would urge you not to avoid sitting a driving test at these times for fear of getting caught up in traffic.If you live in a town or city (or plan to drive anywhere other than the middle of nowhere!) they are conditions you need to be able to tackle confidently. Even if you do get stuck in traffic, it's unlikely you'll be there for a full 40 minutes.
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Look, most driving examiners know the roads surrounding the test centre like the back of their hand. It's in no one's best interest for you to spend the majority of your driving test stuck in the middle of a traffic jam. It won't give you the opportunity to show off enough skills and it will be very dull indeed for everyone involved.
As a result, the examiners are going to do everything in their power to avoid this scenario. And their knowledge of the local area is pretty powerful! Even if the roads are completely jammed when it comes time to take your test, we'd put money on most examiners having a few short cuts or alternative routes up their sleeve that can help you swerve the worst of it. They've seen it all and done it all, so trust their instincts. If you do end up driving on extremely busy roads, it's probably because the examiner wants to see how you handle it.
Push aside any fears that you'll be stuck in the thick of it for the entire test and get on with impressing them!
Rather than worrying about it, some learners actually hope to get stuck in traffic on their driving test. Weird, eh? This is largely due to a surprisingly common assumption that if you get stuck in traffic on your test you can get away with doing barely any driving and still achieve a pass.
Unfortunately, this is another example of a driving test myth! First off, even if you do get stuck in traffic on the driving test, you certainly won't be left with nothing to do. In fact, this kind of scenario requires the use of a variety of skills. What gear should you be in? How close to the car in front is it safe to stop? When should you use the handbrake? The list goes on.
So, as you can see, crawling along in chockablock traffic is no walk in the park.
When surrounded by other cars, you need to be acutely aware of everything happening around you and be ready to deal with potential hazards. The stressful nature of these situations can cause drivers to be impatient and even angry.
As a result, be prepared for dodgy driving and poor decision-making. Fun! You might notice an increase in tailgating, cars cutting each other off and people ignoring stop signs or changing traffic lights. No matter what others are doing, make sure you maintain a suitable speed for the road in question and leave enough space to brake if hazards should develop.
It's not just other cars you need to be keeping an eye on, either. Pedestrians and cyclists can very easily go unnoticed when the roads start to get a little chaotic. If you get stuck in traffic on your test, get ready to flaunt those observational skills and defensive driving techniques!
So, we've established that it's very unlikely you will spend the majority of your driving test sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Nevertheless, we know that anything is possible when it comes to driving, so we won't leave you with zero advice on how to deal with this scenario, should it arise.
Whether you're there for 5 minutes or (gulp) 40 minutes, below are the pros and cons of a driving test traffic jam...
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Forget all of those stories you've heard about learners spending their entire test stuck in traffic. It's highly unlikely that a DVSA examiner will let this happen. If it's something you're worried about, be sure to brush up on the relevant skills.
At the end of the day, you have very little control over what's going to happen on test day. The best thing you can do is swerve the urban myths and focus on being the best driver you can be! Want to know more about the driving test? Read up on our top 10 interesting facts about the driving test.
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