Independant Driving Explained.
Your practical driving test will now include a ten minute section of independant driving.
During the driving test you will have to drive independently by either following.
- a series of directions
- traffic signs
- a combination of both
To help you understand where you are going, the examiner may show you a diagram (see example on the right).
It dosen’t matter if you don’t remember every direction or if you go the wrong way. That can happen to the most experienced drivers.
Independant driving is not a test of your orientation of navigational skills. Driving independantly means making your own decisions. This includes deciding when it is safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you are going.
The independant driving route
If you ask for a reminder of the directions the examiner will confirm them for you. This is not a problem so do not be afraid to ask.
If you go off the independant driving route it will not affect the result of your test.
If you go off the route or take a wrong turn the examiner will help you get back on the route. They will ten continue with the independant driving.
If there are poor or obscured traffic signs, the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign. You won’t need to have a detailed knowledge of the area.
You can’t use a sat nav for independant driving. This gives turn by turn prompts. Independant driving tests how you make your own decisions.
The driving and vehicle standards agency (DVSA) has procedures to identify special needs. They also have procedures to identify disabilities when test are booked online or by phone. The examiner then knows which type of special needs you have. Resonable adjustments can then be made.
For the independant driving section, This could be asking you which method you prefer. This could be following traffic signs or a series of directions (maximum of three) which are supported by a diagram. In some cases this can be shortened to just 2 directions.
A PDF copy is available for download HERE