Well, I failed my first attempt at the behind-the-wheel driving test. I have been driving with my learners permit, which means I have to drive with an adult, for a few months now. Practicing a lot with my mom and dad. Today was my driving test and a few things happened, today's post is just a quick little note for posterity and story.

My dad and I headed down to our local DMV knowing that it was going to be a long wait, the DMV is always crowded and slow. My dad dropped me off and I went to go get in line. However, a security guard told me that my dad was going the wrong way and I had to quickly run on over to tell him where to park. Whoops! Thankfully, because I was taking a driving test I could head right over to the window. We had to wait for a little bit to check in and the lady was cold and efficient, but I'd rather have efficiency and coldness over anger or lackadaisicalness.

Once you check in you have to bring your car around to the side of the building, which is were my dad had incorrectly headed in the first place. On the side there we found what was once an empty car queue, to now be filled with three other cars. We knew this probably spelled a long wait, but we did not know how long. Boy, were we in for a shock. We ended up waiting for about an hour and a half or more! Yes, an hour and a half for a fifteen minute driving test! That is why the stereotypes about the DMV are so true. To further reinforce that stereotype, while we were waiting a man in the car in front of us asked an employee nicely if she did the driving tests and she answered rudely, "I don't do the driving tests. If I did I would have walked over to your car, okay? Chill out man."

We spent our time waiting by napping, meditating, going on our phones, and talking. It was a nice enough time, but man was it long. Finally our turn came and my dad headed inside. The instructor asked me to demonstrate hand signals, the brake lights, the horn, and other parts of the car. We then headed off on the drive, he would instruct me where to turn. We drove for about 15-20 minutes before returning to the DMV. Throughout the drive I felt nervous, as I had felt in the lead up to the test. When we returned to the DMV I was very nervous, but calmed my nerves with some mantras. He gave me the verdict: I failed. The actions that caused me to fail where these:

  • Turned right on red when there was a sign that said, "No Right Turn on Red." MAIN ONE!
  • Didn't check the bicycle lane when merging to turn right, did that twice.

These mistakes really boil down to my two issues, keeping my head moving and looking ahead for signs, dangers, etc. Since hindsight is 20/20 it's obvious to me now that I should have practiced those issues much more leading up to the test, but due to ego or whatever I felt confident going in. Now I have to wait two weeks before I can take it again and over these next two weeks I will practice those issues and more. Wish me luck!

A This Close to Being Licensed Permit Holder,


Edit: One thing I forgot to mention was something funny I noticed during the test. The instructor was the stereotypical government worker, super monotone and robotic. It seemed like he had said his spiel a million times before, which I guess he had. He delivered his hellos, his advice, and the verdict with zero emotion and zero care. Funny.



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