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Independent Driving Explained

My Advice.



Independent driving explained

From 4 October 2010 your practical driving test will include approximately 10 minutes of independent driving.


During your test youíll have to drive independently by either following:

         traffic signs

         a series of directions

         a combination of both

To help you understand where you are going when following verbal directions, the examiner will show you a diagram.

It doesn't matter if you don't remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way - that can happen to the most experienced drivers.

Independent driving is not a test of your orientation and navigation skills. Driving independently means making your own decisions - this includes deciding when itís safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where youíre going.

The independent driving route

If you ask for a reminder of the directions, the examiner will confirm them to you.

If you go off the independent driving route it wonít affect the result of your test unless you commit a driving fault.

If you go off the route or take a wrong turning, the examiner will help you to get back on the route and continue with the independent driving.

If there are poor or obscured traffic signs, the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign - you wonít need to have a detailed knowledge of the area.

You canít use a sat nav for independent driving as it gives you turn-by-turn prompts. Independent driving tests how you make your own decisions.

Special needs

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has procedures to identify special needs and disabilities when tests are booked online or over the phone. The examiner then knows which type of special needs you have so reasonable adjustment can be made.

For the independent driving section, this could be by asking you which method you prefer - following traffic signs or a series of directions (a maximum of three), which are supported by a diagram. In some cases this may be shortened to just two directions.

Driving examiners are very experienced at dealing with candidates who speak little or no English. For example, sometimes they will write place names so it is clear to you where youíre being asked to drive to.

You can have an interpreter along with you on your test if you wish. Your approved driving instructor can act as your interpreter.

TO Book a practice lesson CALL 078 999 111 22.



Try to remember the route (!), there are likely to be no more than 4 instructions per route, so this isn't asking a lot of you!
Try NOT to ask for reminders of the directions at each junction. (This defeats the object of the exercise.)

Remember; stand-alone pedestrian crossings are NOT junctions. If you are asked to turn left (or right) at the lights (traffic lights) this will be a JUNCTION.

You must respond appropriately to road markings and signs (as per the rest of the test), don't expect to be prompted to position in the correct position/lane.

Keep using the MSPSL routine, and looking around, so that you are aware of other road users and have assessed what you think their intentions are.



TO Book a practice lesson CALL 078 999 111 22.


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