So the term might be straight forward enough to understand. Driving independently doesn’t just mean driving without passengers in the car, it literally means driving alone without the aid of a driving instructor. It’s an important aspect for all new drivers, so much so that there is a section of the driving test dedicated to it.
So how will you be tested on ‘independent driving’?
The learner driver being tested will be asked to pull over first. The examiner will then ask them to drive independently by a combination of the following methods. The driver being tested will not have the power to influence the method is chosen, the examiner is responsible for this.
1. Via road signs and markings. The tested driver will be asked to follow road signs for the next ten minutes to a set location such as the fire station or town centre.
2. Via a series of verbal directions given by the examiner. Three or four commands will be given by the examiner. An example could be: ‘Drive and then take the first left, straight ahead to the roundabout then third on the right!’.
The examiner will also show them a diagram before driving off for the driving pupil to get an idea. They will be allowed to ask the examiner to repeat the directions if they do forget it. (Something that is easy to do on a driving test!)
If road signs are hidden by an overhanging tree, parked car or other obstruction, the examiner will make a note of this and tell you what to do instead.
This ‘independent driving’ section of the test is meant to test the confidence of the driver more than the navigating skills. A wrong turn will not count against them. The student will be observed on how well they can drive with hardly any intervention of the examiner.
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