Skip to main content
Hero background

Safe Driving Tips for Driving Test - Unfamiliar Traffic Situations

Becoming a new driver can be daunting. With so many different steps of the process required in order to get a license, it is easy to get discouraged. There is some help out there, such as online tests to judge your knowledge of the road, but this is just on paper. Once you get behind the wheel and nerves kick in, it is tough to think on your feet. The knowledge you studied and thought you knew can find itself swallowed whole by an anxiety-ridden fog.

One way to help with safety is to familiarize yourself with the area you'll be driving in. Just like hiking trails have different terrain, roads have unique features with various road signs, speed limits and traffic.

If you are going to be taking a driving test in an area you are unfamiliar with it is wise to take a drive around the area with someone else and just observe what sort of obstacles lurk. Then, once you feel more familiar, you can get behind the wheel so when you have to perform them you'll be in the driver's seat. Well, literally.

Are there types of turns you aren't familiar with?

One-way streets?

Street signs you haven't seen before?

Giant gorillas on top buildings that may possibly jump down fifty floors in the flash of a second?

These are some things you'll want to be ready for, especially now that Planet of the Apes has clearly set itself up for a sequel and radioactive apes are living high in the trees waiting for the right moment to attack.

Below are some additional tips you may find helpful if you are taking your test or just looking to become a safer driver.

1. Traffic

Speeding down a road with no one on it is a piece of cake. How about driving it during rush hour after a Jonas Brothers concert finished?

2. Unfamiliar areas

Have you ever tried to sing the words to a song you don't know the words to? It's pretty darn hard. Driving in a neighborhood you aren't familiar with while also trying to navigate is just the same. Study a map ahead of time if you are going to be driving in unchartered waters. And learn the words first before belting them out in the shower. Your shampoo bottle has had enough tone deafness.

3. Commercial areas

Everyone enjoys a comedic Superbowl commercial, but few can drive in them. Commercial areas have a variety of different factors including a lack of posted speed limits, a plethora of large vehicles, and the likelihood of a stopped one in the middle of the road. If your local DMV is in a commercial area, which many are, take a drive by before your test. If you are a goodie two shoes trying to become safer on the road do the same. Remember if a road does not have a speed limit sign posted, the speed limit is 25. If you were thinking whatever I darn well please is the speed limit, then you may want to study up on your driving laws.

4. Unique Intersections

Chevy Chase ensured his family got to see the sights in England in National Lampoon's European Vacation by incompetently attempting to drive out of a roundabout. This may have worked for him and his family, but if you show your driving instructor the same Applebee's and Starbucks repeatedly you will fail your test.

5. Pedestrians

No one likes a mangled pedestrian, and unless you are playing Grand Theft Auto you will fail your test, not to mention end up incarcerated. If you think you might be driving in an area with heavy foot traffic, especially with big intersections, or big pedestrians, check it out ahead of time. Turning left across an intersection can add an additional challenge so make sure to practice that as well. Bigger pedestrians tend to move slower, so take your time unless they are in the NFL.

Boy Scouts always preach being prepared. Your loyal scoutmaster was right. Prepare yourself for all types of situations in case you come across them on your test. It will help you become a safer driver as well.