Driving tests can be nerve-wracking, not only for the person taking the test but also for the driving test examiner. Anything can happen while you're out on the road, especially when the person behind the wheel has absolutely no clue what they are doing. The following stories were submitted by driving test examiners who have experienced a traumatizing event while on a driving test with a student driver. Their accounts will make you realize that some people just aren't meant to be on the road. If you're taking a driving test sometime soon, make sure to not do what these test-takers did:
Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 No Seatbelt
My cousin’s dumb sister was doing the driving portion, jumped straight in and didn’t buckle her seatbelt. Automatic fail.
#2 Pole Problems
When I parallel parked, I hit the pole behind me, and the tester said, "It's fine. This should be an automatic fail but I think that's a bit too harsh." Then, I hit the pole in front of me head-on. I did not pass.
#3 Blurry Vision
It wasn't a kid, my 80-year-old great aunt. The tester kept telling her to speed up. After a few times, she said she can't see the speedometer so she couldn't know how fast she was going. He made her pull over and she did not receive a renewal, thank God. I felt a little bad for her, but at the same time, it would not have been a good idea for her to be driving.
#4 An Automatic Fail
Last year, I was making a left turn at a light, and a car swerved into my lane and hit me. Turns out, it was someone taking their driver's test. I'm not exactly sure how a driver's test car insurance works, but the instructor told me we had to wait for the police and take details of everything. I am guessing the driver did not pass.
#5 A Scary Near Miss
The kids make minor mistakes, and yes, some do make scary mistakes. However, it's the adults that scare me most. Especially the seniors who are up for re-exam. Probably the worst test I've ever been on was this man in his 90s. I instructed him to turn onto a street when it was safe to do so, and he turned, narrowly missing a pedestrian.
Not only that, but he was driving on the wrong side of the road. He came head-to-head with another car who pulled over to let him go. He was laughing about it because he was under the impression that it was a one-way road. When I got back to the office with him (I cut the test short and got him back in the quickest and safest way possible), he was astounded when I told him it was NOT a one-way street.
#6 A Really Close Call
My best friend's son just failed because he went the wrong way down a busy four-lane road. Luckily, they made it safely into a parking lot and the testing administrator drove them back. It's a good thing no one got hurt! Apparently, that intersection saw a lot of traffic so there were several cars around at the time he took the test.
I stopped a test before due to anxiety and was told by the driving instructor that he couldn't drive me back to the center as he wasn't insured, nor could I drive on my own since I hadn't passed. He left me in the car to go back to the test center to get my instructor. I waited for two hours for her to turn up. It was the longest wait of my life.
#8 The Train Is Coming
My dad did testing for a few years and he once had a girl stop on railroad tracks. There was a train coming (slowly, but it still takes them a long time to stop) and it blasted the horn right into the car (the passenger side, with the window open). This just made her freeze up even more. He had to reach his foot over to her side to hit the accelerator.
#9 Wrong Side Of The Road
I took a test with a girl who drove on the wrong side of the road and took a left turn into oncoming traffic all in the same drive. It was through my school and she was banned from taking it through the school because of that. The road was splitting and there was a median and for some reason, she took the left side. The worst part was that there was the median, so we had to drive on the wrong side until there was an opening to go back over.
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#10 Parallel Parking Problems
In high school, a lot of my classmates used to take their tests in small towns just so they wouldn't have to parallel park. Funny enough, when I took the test, I was great at parallel parking but could not park in a regular parking lot without taking two or more stalls. I could not figure out how to actually line up to get in between the lines.
#11 An Opposite Case
When I was taking drivers ed, I was in a car that had the brake on the passenger side for the instructor to use, just in case. I was going 35 down a fairly busy street when my car all of a sudden came to a complete stop. In horror, I look over at my instructor who was sound asleep with his foot on the brake. I just sat there dumbfounded. After a couple of people honked, he shook himself awake, mumbled a quick, “accelerate” and sat up adjusting his glasses. So that was fun.
#12 Fast And Furious
My driver's ed teacher said that one kid reclined his seat all the way back, put one foot on the gas and the other on the brake, and grabbed the top of the wheel with one hand, saying, "Let's go." I mean, my dad was taught two-foot driving in school. I guess they experimented with teaching kids to drive that way for a little while, before realizing it was a terrible idea.
#13 Driving Through Stop Signs
I'm not a tester, but I asked my tester during my full license test what the worst thing someone had done during a test. Apparently, there was an older gentleman who drove through three stop signs before the tester told him to pull over. The gentleman explained that he didn't want the license but his family was pressuring him, so he ran the signs on purpose to fail (he made sure no cars were coming first).
#14 Straight Through
My best friend was coming to a four-way stop in our small rural town. The tester told him to go straight. So she did. Without stopping at the sign. She just drove right through without batting an eye. He basically told her, "Well, you failed, if you want to just drive back." It was rough, but at least it wasn't downtown in a b big city in the USA.
#15 Run Her Over
I went forward instead of in reverse when the tester was standing in front of me on the curb. I failed. I didn't hit her, but when I told the next instructor what happened they thought it was hilarious. Apparently she wasn't very well-liked. I think that had been part of the issue, my nerves and her just totally abrupt manner. Then, you know, my almost running her over didn't help.
#16 Oncoming Traffic
A girl in my driver's ed failed her test when she went to DMV because she turned into oncoming traffic. Not only was there a grass median, but there were also some of those skinny red and white poles for about 10 feet followed by a guard rail. Each side of the median was three lanes. There really was no way to miss it, but she did.
#17 The Wrong Call
While I was waiting for my turn to do my CDL test, I watched a guy in a semi back into a light pole and instead of seeing what he gently backed into, he gassed it and knocked it over. Needless to say, I didn’t get to take my test for an hour or so while they cleaned it up. On the bright side, I passed on my very first try.
#18 Grabbing An Axe
In my local area, a guy in his mid-twenties failed the test for some reason. At this point in time, the results of the test were shared in the car. After being told he failed, he proceeded to get out of the car and grab an axe out of the trunk. I don't know any more details beyond that but apparently it is why the results are shared inside the licensing building rather than in the car.
#19 Swerving On The Instructor
This reminded me of a moment I had during my final test. The tester had an arm injury and was wearing a brace on his right arm. I took a left turn way too hard and caused him to accidentally hit his arm against the door. I was just like, "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry!" Surprisingly, he passed me that day... Maybe he didn't want me to come back.
#20 The Late Call
When I went to take my driving test, the tester waited until I was AT an intersection to yell, "TURN LEFT!" She scared me, so when I turned I was startled. I ended up failing. When I went back to try again, she was just ripping into this girl and her mom in the parking lot. I was like, at least I'll get a different tester cause she's clearly busy.
#21 Straight Into The Knee
The craziest thing I ever witnessed with my own eyes was a dude who somehow managed to lose control at 15 mph. He jumped the curb and smashed into the guardrail. Needless to say, he was not issued a license. The best story I ever heard from a co-worker happened immediately after she came inside swearing a blue streak because, during a part of the test where the examiner stands on the curb in order to observe maneuvers, she drove up over the curb and straight into her knee.
#22 Missed Exit
Not a tester, but I heard about a girl in drivers ed who was driving on the interstate with the teacher and three other students. The teacher commented that they missed the exit, but they would just get off on the next one. I'm not sure what the girl's thought process was, but this girl pulled into the grass and tried to go against the traffic to go back to their missed exit. The teacher had to use her break on the passenger side while the three other students screamed bloody murder.
#23 Wrecking The Test Center
There was a test center next to the sporting goods store I worked at. A LOT of people would come there and practice before their test out front in the straight-on parking spots. A young lady (who only had her permit) managed to mix up the gas and brake and drove right through the front of the test center. I was told later that she was even more upset when they wouldn’t let her reschedule her test for the following day since they canceled her test she was pulling in to take when she wrecked the whole front of the building. It wasn’t long after that they installed a bunch of bollards in front to protect the building. I was amazed at how marked up they had gotten in the first few months.
#24 The California Roll
I watched my know-it-all son do the "California Roll" through three consecutive stop signs as he was exiting the courthouse parking lot at the beginning of the test. The tester stopped the test and failed him on the spot, way before he even got out of the parking lot. My son's excuse: "I thought the test hadn't started yet."
#25 Chuck Lafitte
My father used to tell stories of when his dad worked at the Massachusetts Registry. One story he told was about this really stuck up kid. Somehow, he had gotten my grandfather’s name, so after the test, the kid tried to act all slick by saying, “I know Chuck Lafitte!” My grandfather giving the test said, “Oh really? You know Chuck Lafitte?” The kid was like, “Yep.”
“No you don’t. Because I’m Chuck Lafitte.”
The kid did not get a license that day.
#26 Grabbing The Wheel
While taking our CDL test, I was sitting in the sleeper area, and the guy actually taking the test ground gears when shifting. He immediately let go of the steering wheel, causing the proctor to have to grab the steering wheel and drive for the five or so seconds it took for him to recompose himself. It was not a good test for that guy.
#27 Dashcam Evidence
One instructor was riding with someone who was fighting the gears so bad that he decided to use both hands to jam the stick into gear. The instructor popped the brakes, and the guy sitting in the top bunk ended up flying forward, hitting the dash... The dashcam recorded it, too. Honestly, they really shouldn't have had someone in the top bunk.
#28 Six Straight Fails
Several in one day actually. I wasn't the tester, but I was waiting in line to gey my test with about 30 other people. The car they were trying to use didn't have valid registration or inspection. Automatic fail. The car had no brake lights. Automatic fail. The insurance was expired in the car. Put it in reverse instead of drive. Nearly backed into the car behind them, but didn't. Automatic fail.
Ran OVER the parallel parking cone completely. Automatic fail. Hit the curb turning left out of the lot somehow. Automatic fail. These were six different people who went before me. It was beyond frustrating. I waited over an hour for six out of the 10 people in front of me to not even make it out of the parking lot.
#29 A Known Failure
Not a tester, but when I was in high school there was a guy who was known for failing the driver's license test multiple times. The most notorious story was when he fell asleep at the wheel during the test. He was obviously embarrassed, but confirmed that it was true; he fell asleep at the wheel for a few seconds with the DMV tester right next to him. We then asked how that was possible as this is when most people are nervous. Still embarrassed, he mumbled something about being sleepy and hurried away from us. We let it drop but never got a better answer out of him.
#30 The Rolling Stop
In high school, my friend who was 18 at the time went to take his driving test. He drove himself there and failed the first time by doing a rolling stop at a stop sign. So he drove himself home. He tried a second time, did another rolling stop, failed again, and drove home. He got it the third time, though. I guess he finally realized not to do a rolling stop.
#31 Quick McDonald's Run
My old driving instructor told me about a kid that pulled into the drive-thru at McDonald's, ordered some food, then realized he left his wallet in his other car (they were using the instructor's car). He wanted the instructor to pay for his food and said he'd offer half of his fries in return. The wallet also contained his license, so the instructor failed him on the spot and told him to get out the car.
#32 Third Time's A Charm
I took the driving test having never parallel park before because I live in the suburbs. I tried it during the test end ended up like three feet from the curb. The second time I tried it, I backed into the empty space perfectly. The instructor said, “Okay, just pull forward a foot and you’re good,” excited that I did it. Unfortunately, I never put it in drive and reversed over the cones. The third time I tried it, it was pouring rain. I drove the exact speed limit. Afterward, he told me I was driving to0 fast in the rain but passed me anyway.
#33 Speeding Through The Cones
Not a test administrator but my ex-girlfriend failed her exam during parallel parking. She backed in perfectly then sped through the front cones...
#34 An Almost Fail
When I went to take mine, the DMV was across the highway from the truck stop. I made a right turn onto the highway to go get on the interstate. Right after I turned onto the highway, a semi turned left, but he went across four lanes into my lane. My tester got silent. I had seen what he was doing and slowed down to pull over to the shoulder until the semi passed us. When it was all clear, I signaled and pulled back onto the highway then onto the interstate behind the semi. My tester told me to turn around at the next exit. I had passed.
#35 Doing The Instructor's Chores
Not an instructor, but in high school, the instructor had me drive around doing his chores. I had to drive to Blockbuster so he could drop off his videos, go to the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru, and check out a house he was eyeing to buy.
#36 A Costly Wrong Turn
I failed my first test by taking the wrong turn at a stoplight. Not an illegal one, though. When I got us back to the MDV, the tester said I drove beautifully and I would have passed with flying colors, including pulling over properly to allow an ambulance to pass, had I not taken a wrong turn off the course. I came back the next day and nailed it.
#37 A Case Of Nerves
I used to run a driving school. I had a student who was deeply dedicated to the material. He was honest to a fault and had studied everything so hard that he aced every on-paper exam... and then he'd get behind the wheel and basically have a panic attack. He COULD do it if he didn't have the worst case of nerves I've ever seen in my life.
He was giving a kid a lesson and they were on the highway. He asked the student to pass a car that was driving a little slow. The student signaled to merge into the left lane and gently accelerates. Everything is going well when suddenly the student exclaims, “Oh my, I’m sorry I forgot to shift the gear into ‘pass.'. The instructor was momentarily confused until it was too late. The student reached for the automatic gear shifter and threw it towards “P” while traveling at 65 mph. This wasn’t good for the car.
#39 Visor Fail
Not a tester but my cousin went to get their license. They pulled out from the parking lot of the DMV, took BOTH hands off the wheel to put down the visor to block the sun, and failed instantly.
#40 Fail Before The Test
When I was sitting my test, I asked the tester how many tests he did on a normal day. His answer was ten. Not all that surprising, until he followed it up with: "Ten, and eight will fail before making it out of the carpark." I asked him to elaborate, and apparently the vast majority of test-sitters will fail for administrative reasons, like arriving late to the test, not bringing their existing learners licenses, or having a vehicle that wasn't road-legal. The latter was more common than it sounds.
#41 Three Strikes, You're Out
My dad was friends with a guy who worked for the registry giving the road test. His best story was of a kid who took his test while it was raining. He started driving without the windshield wipers on. The guy figured he was nervous so he tried to give him a break, saying, “It’s raining pretty hard, huh.” The kid was white-knuckled on the steering wheel and just said, “Yeah.”
Again trying to give the kid a break he said, “Don’t you think you should do something about that?” The kid said, “Yeah.” Apparently, he didn’t know where the wiper controls were so he rolled down the driver’s side window and stuck his head out. At that point, he stopped the test and failed him.
#42 Weird Day
Not a tester, but at my local DMV, I was inside when an old man was there to renew his license. He somehow managed to put it in reverse, hop the curb, and smash through the from the window of the DMV. That was a weird day.
#43 Optional Stop Signs?
When I was 16 and taking courses, a group of kids in my class convinced this really ditzy girl that the stop signs with a white border are optional. She ended up running TWO stop signs in her test and had to take the course again. I'm sure that was a pretty scary moment for the tester involved...
#44 The Reverse Configuration
I remember on my test day, I got into my instructor's car on a nice sunny day and I used my signal as I started off from the curb. Cue me turning the windshield wipers on, then off. It was a European car and the wipers and indicators are swapped from my usual car. Because I only drove it once a week, I always got tripped up. Luckily, I didn't actually move from my spot and was able to "restart."
#45 In A Ditch
My grandfather used to be a tester. He had one girl forget which way to turn the steering wheel, and they ended up in a ditch.