Most Common Driver’s Road Test Mistakes to Avoid

You’ve passed the written test, received your Learner’s License, perhaps signed up for driving lessons, and put in hours of practice – you’re finally ready to book a road test in Edmonton! Completing and passing a road test is the final step in Alberta’s driver licensing process.

Understandably, the days leading up to your driver’s road test can be a little nerve-racking. Of course, you want to do well and pass. By now, you likely have a good grasp of proper driving practices and road etiquette, and you might be reading this article to help prep for the day.

While you’ve studied and practiced what to do, knowing what not to do is also valuable. Keep reading to learn more about common mistakes that can cost you points on your road test.

What to expect during your road test

On the day of your test, your examiner will introduce themselves and provide proof of their certification upon request. The road test is approximately 25-30 minutes long unless your examiner feels that your safety or the safety of others is at risk. Alberta road tests evaluate drivers on their knowledge of:

  • Identifying and operating vehicle controls
  • Safe and legal right and left turns
  • School and/or playground zone times and speed limits
  • Proper parallel parking
  • Proper hill parking (up or down)
  • Proper lane changing
  • Managing controlled and uncontrolled intersections

You must bring your Learner’s License. If you have a non-photo temporary license, you must also provide an acceptable photo ID. Points are assigned for errors, and you will be allowed a maximum of 75 points to pass the road test.

Avoid the following road test mistakes

  • Following too closely – Be sure to maintain proper braking distance between you and the car in front of you.
  • Not checking mirrors regularly – You can lose points on your road test if you don’t check your mirrors frequently enough, especially when changing lanes or turning. We recommend glancing at your rearview mirror every 10 seconds. 
  • Not following the speed limit – A common misconception is that driving slowly looks good on a road test, but driving too fast or too slow is equally dangerous. Always follow the speed limit – don’t let your nerves make you drive too slow, and never go above the limit. 
  • Rolling stops – Be sure to come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs and pause for a count of three.
  • Forgetting to use your turn signals – Proper use of turn signals is a significant part of your exam.
  • Not following the rules at four-way stops – The driver who arrives at the four-way stop first has the right of way. If you get to the intersection at the same time as another driver, the driver to the right goes first.
  • Improper lane changing – When changing lanes, look first, turn your signal on, check your rear and side mirrors, do a shoulder check, and change lanes once it’s all clear. Never change lanes during an intersection. 
  • Not being aware of speed limit changes – Pay attention to speed limit changes in playground and school zones, residential streets, construction zones, and highways.
  • Driving with one hand – Always keep both hands on the steering wheel. 
  • Bringing a car to the road test that doesn’t meet safety requirements – If you’re bringing your own vehicle to the road test, be sure it complies with all safety laws:
    • The windshield is clear and free of damage
    • Working seat belts
    • Working lights
    • Working horn
    • A valid license plate and insurance
    • Working speedometer
    • Tires, brakes, and park brakes are in good condition
    • Mirrors are clear and unobstructed
    • There is enough fuel for the full road test

Where to book a road test in Edmonton

You can book a road test online through Riverbend Registry. Here, you can check important information about your exam, including a road test checklist, Alberta Road Test Policies, testing eligibility, rental vehicles, and more. 

Good luck, and remember, always drive responsibly!