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Driver License Testers Share the Craziest Things People Have Done to Fail Their Tests



I was so excited to get my license when I was 16. In my town, you had to drive to get anywhere, and a license meant freedom. I was so nervous when I was in line to take my test. Like, more nervous than I'd ever been in my life. I'd heard tale of the famously harsh tester dubbed "Failing Gail," and she was definitely there that day. When I finally got to the front of the line, as ready as I'd ever be for the test I'd made the appointment for months before, I was immediately denied the ability to take the test because the inspection on our car was expired. My mom had forgotten to get it done. And so we had to drive home and I had to wait another three months to take the test again. 

Clearly, I'm over it. I eventually went back and got my license on the first try. And I've been driving ever since. But that experience scarred me. Driver license testers see it all when people arrive to take their tests. And they're sharing the craziest things they've seen in one very dramatic AskReddit thread.


Let's start off with a bang. HIginger has a friend whose son just failed his driver test because he went the wrong way down a four-lane road. No one was hurt...at least not physically, but man I bet neither that kid nor that instructor will ever forget the feeling of hurtling toward certain death!

In another story, polic1 was giving a driving test to a person who answered his phone while he was behind the wheel! Hasn't he ever seen those commercials where everything is fine and people are driving along and then they look at their phone for a split second and WHAM! Devastating accident? It's not only inappropriate to use your phone while driving. It's actually illegal! This is unforgivable. That's an automatic fail. 

Lots of different types of people test for their driver licenses, so you're bound to get some characters. TechyMitch1 said their driver's ed teacher told them they once had a kid who got in the car, "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 and said, 'Let's go.'" While that's pretty funny, that's also quite concerning. 

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PembrokePercy isn't a tester but works next to a license center and once witnessed a young woman mis up the gas and brake and barrel the car straight through the front of the license center building. They were later told that she was upset that they wouldn't let her come back and take the test the next day. Um, probably because she drove a car through their office. Could you imagine?!

Sometimes, you can be so nervous taking your driving test that all reason goes out the window. That's what happened to Podsy93's best friend when she was taking her test. They were coming to a 4-way intersection with stop signs and the tester told her to go straight. "So she did," they wrote, "without stopping at the sign. Just drove straight through without batting an eye." She failed on the spot but still had to drive back, which must have been excruciating. 

This might be the craziest one I've heard. Onechrisn knew a guy in high school who was notorious for failing his license test. He failed multiple times, but the worst time was when he fell asleep at the wheel during the test. Asleep! How does one do this? Was he narcoleptic? Did he not have any adrenaline coursing through his veins? Taking your driving test usually makes people nervous enough to at least stay awake...

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Sometimes, you are neither the tester nor the testee. Sometimes you are an innocent bystander who becomes the victim of a poor, nervous test-taker. Mcpokey was making a left turn at a light when a car swerved into their lane and hit them. It ended up being someone taking their driving test. I think it's safe to say they probably failed. Hitting a car head-on in the middle of an intersection isn't exactly in the manual.

Ocean_Snipe7's cousin went to get their license, and they failed before they even left the parking lot. They took both of their hands of of the wheel to put down the sun visor. Why do you need both hands to do that? It was an instant fail, and for good reason. Don't take both hands off the steering wheel while driving, especially during your driving test.

Having both hands on the steering wheel doesn't do you any good if you forget which way to turn it, but that's what happened to a girl who canth123's grandfather was testing. They ended up in a ditch. How do you forget which way to turn the steering wheel? The car turns the way you turn it! I don't know how much clearer it could be. Sure, I was nervous when I took my driving test, but not so nervous I forgot how steering wheels work.


This one is actually terrifying. Echothree33's dad was a driving tester and once had a girl in his car who stopped on railroad tracks for no apparent reason. There was a train coming that blasted its horn to get them off the tracks. She just completely froze, so he had to reach his foot over to her side and hit the accelerator so they could get out of there and get away with their lives. So extremely scary.

Tackonsaddle's dad had a friend who was a driving instructor. He was giving a test once while it was raining. The kid clearly had no idea how to turn on the windshield wipers. Even when the test giver was like, "Don't you think you should do something about it?" referring to the rain-soaked windshield, the kid just said, "Yeah," and did nothing. Eventually, he rolled down the window and stuck his head out of the side of the car to see what was going on. That's when the test ended. 

Mizamagician almost got away with a pretty egregious offense, but then they just made it worse. "When I parallel parked I hit the pole behind me," they explained. "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." At that point, I'm pretty sure the test giver was obligated to fail them. You can't hit poles in both directions.

Source: iStock Photo

Sometimes, even if you fail your driving test, it's not your fault. This is what happened to Dinosaursdeservelove's husband. The first time he took his driving test, someone ran a red light and went straight through the intersection, so he braked to avoid hitting them, as anyone in their right mind would. But the instructor failed him because "he had right of way so he should have just kept going." They basically said he should have let them get in an accident and failed him. That's such crazy, backward thinking. 

This one is more than a little appalling. Jef22314's instructor told a story about how he was giving a kid a lesson on the highway. He asked the student to pass a car that was driving slowly. So the student signaled, moved to the left lane, and accelerated. Everything was going well when all of a sudden, the kid was like, "Oh my, I'm sorry, I forgot to shift the gear into 'pass," and proceeded to shift to "P" — as in park — while going 65 m.p.h. on the highway. 

This last one isn't quite on topic, but it is very relatable to me personally. Bubadmt's high school driving instructor used to have them drive around doing his chores. I wonder if we had the same instructor because mind did the exact same thing. We went to pick up his dry-cleaning. I drove him to Dunkin' Donuts. We went to his house so he could drop off his dry-cleaning. We were his own personal chauffeurs. It was ridiculous!

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