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The Top 5 California Behind-the-Wheel Test Failures

California Behind The Wheel Driving Test Failures

The last thing you want is to have passed your permit exam, only to begin the behind-the-wheel training in California and fail. There are, however, many new drivers who fail the required hours and training parameters when they ultimately go in to test for their driver’s exam. Here we’ll detail some of the most common reasons drivers fail, and what you can do to avoid failure when it’s your turn to sit in for your driver’s license exam in the state of California. 


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1. Improper Lane Changes

This issue is one of the most common problems California drivers face when undergoing behind-the-wheel training. Not signaling, checking rear and side mirrors, or simply forgetting to look first, are common issues instructors ding new drivers for during their practices. Changing lanes is extremely dangerous, especially in instances driver’s have limited vision. Therefore, forgetting to check their blind spot, or otherwise correctly preparing for lane changes, is often reported as an area many new drivers fail when they’re training with an instructor. 

VIDEO: Proper Way To Change Lanes To Pass Your Behind-The-Wheel Test

2. Not Yielding to Pedestrians

When entering a crosswalk, drivers/students must yield to pedestrians. Yielding also applies to school zones, construction areas, and intersections. By not checking to see if these zones are free of pedestrians before proceeding, accidents occur. New drivers are often impatient, causing them to overlook the necessity of a full stop, and waiting a few seconds to ensure no pedestrians are approaching. 

VIDEO: How To Determine If A Pedestrian Has The Right Of Way

3. Improper Speed

Not controlling speeds is another reported reason many California drivers fail their behind-the-wheel training. Following speed limit signs, changes in school zones, residential streets, on freeways, and in construction zones, are just a few areas speed limits change. Not obeying these rules will result in students failing their training. 

VIDEO: How Are Speed Limites Determined

4. Making Illegal Left Turns

Refraining from staying in the designated lane, when making a double-lane left turn, is a huge sticking point for teen drivers. Inexperienced drivers may want to drift into the opposite lane when turning, but this is illegal and dangerous.

VIDEO: Common Mistakes When Making Left Turns

5. Unfamiliarity with Surroundings/Traffic Conditions

This one is difficult even for advanced drivers. Not being completely aware of the road conditions, not turning on your headlights in low visibility areas, or failing to slow down speeds in wet/slick conditions, shows your lack of experience. Drivers are inevitably going to lose points if they don’t demonstrate the ability to make changes where necessary, to keep the roads safe while they’re driving. 

VIDEO: What Causes Traffic Jams?

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the most commonly noted reasons drivers fail their training. Other issues like failure to make complete stops, being overly cautious, and being unfamiliar with the vehicle, are often indicated by instructors and trainers as reasons drivers don’t pass the training requirements in the state. 

Understanding these issues is an excellent starting point for drivers who are preparing for their behind-the-wheel training. It will help you prepare, avoid the common mistakes students make and increase your awareness of the most noted issues drivers typically fail on. It will help you better establish your training and mentality so you can pass the behind-the-wheel training when applying to become a licensed California driver. 

VIDEO: Watch An Actual California Driving Exam!