You're so close to getting your license. There's only one thing in your way: passing the road test. How are you feeling? A lot of learners dread it. If only you could know what will come up during the test... Fortunately, you can! While every examiner is different and each state has its traffic laws, you'll probably get tested on these skills. Start practicing them now, and you'll be ready for the big day!
9 Things to Expect During the Road Test
During the road test, the examiner will assess if you can actually put what you learned in driver's ed into practice. These nine driving skills are the most basic and essential to perfect.
1. Right Turns
When turning right, remember to turn on your blinkers. Move to the right-most lane and slow down. Pay attention to the flow of traffic and drive off when it's safe to do so.
In most states, wide turns aren't allowed. That means you'll have to make a sharp turn to stay on the right-most lane. Check your driver's ed manual to see if your state is an exception (California is).
Generally, you can turn right at a red light if there are no signs prohibiting it. The only exception is in New York City.
2. Left Turns
Turning left is just slightly more complicated. Your examiner wants you to signal, move to a turning lane (if there is one), and only drive off when there's a break in traffic going both ways.
Remember, left turns aren't allowed on red. And neither are wide turns in most of the country, so check your driver's ed manual before the test.
3. Changing Lanes
Many drivers fail their road test because they don't signal before changing lanes. Be sure to turn on the blinkers and check your blind spots by turning your head!
4. Obeying Traffic Signs
Always respect every traffic sign you come across — be it speed limit signs, yield signs, or stop signs. If you don't, you'll likely get an automatic fail.
5. Driving Through Intersections
Your examiner will pay close attention to what you do at unmarked and marked intersections. Follow right-of-way laws, but always keep road safety in mind.
6. Yielding to Pedestrians
In 2020, more than 7,000 pedestrians died in crashes. Always yield to pedestrians on a crossing, pay special attention around schools, and never swerve around a pedestrian — even if they're jaywalking.
7. Accelerating and Braking Smoothly
Never rev up the engine or brake abruptly (unless for safety reasons). It may seem like a minor mistake, but your examiner will dock off marks for it.
No matter what type of parking the examiner asks you to do, you must always signal your intentions. Turn on your blinker and slowly ease into the parking space.
9. Backing Out of a Parking Space
On that topic, you should always back out of a parking space closely. Check your rearview mirror, side mirrors, and turn your torso so you can see out the rear window. When you find a break in traffic, you can slowly back up.
Other Skills to Practice
There's a good chance the examiner won't ask you to show off these skills. But if you want to be completely sure you're prepared for the road test, practice them just in case.
Driving on a freeway or highway
Need a Refresher on Driving Safely?
If you don't feel entirely confident in your driving skills, that's okay! You can always keep learning, even if you've already passed your driver's ed test. For example, you can take a defensive driving course at your own pace fully online. By the end, you'll feel like a much better driver!