A-Class Driving School' s Online Driving Tutorials - Independent Driving
At last, a break for the learner driver. This, in my opinion, makes the test easier. For half the test you wont need to listen to a strangers voice, which can be off putting when under pressure. It'll be done in one of two ways; following the Sat Nav or road signs. The chance of following road signs is apparently 1 in 5 and seems to be far more challenging for learners. It's essentially one long distraction exercise.
Independent Driving - Sat Nav
Making sure you glance at the screen at the right time is important here. Only glance when nothing important is happening in front of you. So perhaps after completing a turn/junction, come into the new road, take in all the signs and potential hazards, make a little progress, then glance down and take it all in. Essentially you're being asked to follow the blue path.
What to look for...
At the top of the screen will be the vital info you. What type of turn is happening next and how far it is. The large screen with the picture on it will help clarify the shape of the road and what's to come. The voice, which can be turned off in the exam if you really want, will clarify. The timings of her instructions sadly seem to follow no pattern and come in at different times, so you can't rely on this. The yardage can help you with when to start your routine. In the usual 20/30mph zones, 120/140 yards would be about right. Anything before that is misleading and later isn't enough time for others to respond to what you're planning. You'll also be given the name of the street, which could help in identifying the correct road is several are closely packed together.
Independent Driving - Following Signs
Far harder in my opinion as signs seem to be in so many places its hard for someone with little experience to take it all in. The can be on the left, the right, above your head, on the floor, they're sometimes large, sometimes small. Busses could be in the way, tree branches can overgrow them, in the wet on a gloomy day they can be borderline impossible to read … the list of possible reasons why you could miss them is long. So the best trick is to watch your speed and following distance to give you every opportunity to catch them and respond in the correct way.
The examiner will ask you to follow signs to a certain place until told otherwise. They will not keep reminding you at each junction.
I usually leave this type of training quite late on when students are easily able to control the car, read the road ahead and anticipate other road users. When they have all these skills, adding following signs on top of everything else seems less challenging.