You can fail your driving test if you drive too slowly. This is because overcaution is a sign that you are not confident behind the wheel.
A lot of learner drivers react with confusion when they discover this. They seem to be under the impression that slower is always better.
However, this is not the case.
The purpose of a driving test is to measure your ability to operate a vehicle. If you fail to demonstrate that you are able to keep up with the flow of traffic, then your instructor might fail you.
Being too cautious and failing to progress is a bad thing.
It shows the instructor that you are not confident behind the wheel.
If that is the case, then there is a good chance that you might pose a hazard to other road users.
Jittery drivers are not good drivers.
Failure to progress.
In Ireland, you can receive a “progress fault” if you stay too far back from the vehicle in front of you or if you take too long to move after a traffic light has turned green.
You can also receive a “progress fault” if you take too long to approach a turn-off.
Your ability to progress and keep up with the flow of traffic is an indicator of your confidence behind the wheel. If the instructor thinks that your slowness is unreasonable or overly cautious, then it is likely that you will receive a fault.
Driving too slowly is a failure in many countries.
If you do a quick Google search, you will come across multiple examples of people talking about how they failed their driving test because they drove too slowly.
A Californian motorist received a “critical error” and failed his test because he drove 25mph on a 35mph road. He had no other errors or mistakes on his score sheet. Just one “critical error” for driving too slowly.
In the UK, a learner motorist received a “major fail” because he drove 40mph on a dual carriageway that had a 70mph speed limit.
In New Zealand, you can fail your test if you drive 10km/hr under the speed limit in good conditions. This is seen as a “critical error” because you are essentially disrupting the flow of traffic.
Those who take the ICBC test in Canada can fail if they drive “substantially lower than what would be considered to be normal.”
All in all, it seems as though most countries have some sort of failure category for people who drive too slowly during their driving test.
Passing your test isn’t just about showing the instructor that you understand the rules of the road. It’s also about showing the instructor that you are confident being on the road.