The independent driving segment of the test was recently incorporated into the DSA
driving test in order to better prepare new drivers abilities of following traffic
signs or a series of directions. This section of the driving test will last for
around 10 minutes and you will be given a clear instruction of the start of the
independent driving and the end. An example of the independent driving is being
instructed to follow signs to a certain town, for example if you are told to follow
the signs to ‘Kensington’, you should look out for signs showing the correct directions
for Kensington and follow them. Alternatively, you could be shown a driving route
diagram, like that shown in figure 1 below and simply driving according to directions shown on the diagram.
Figure 1. An example of the independent driving diagram which your examiner might show you.
You will not be penalised if you forget which way to go, just inform the examiner
that you are unsure which way to go or if you feel you’ve gone the wrong way and
they will prompt you with the amended directions to get back on track. You will
not require detailed knowledge of the local area as there will be clear and concise
traffic signs on show, if for any reason the traffic signs are obscured or unclear then
the examiner will confirm which way to go.
The reason for the inclusion of the independent
driving segment into the driving test is to help new learners use road signs to
find a destination, this skill can be priceless during long journeys where you do
not have the means of directions to hand, for example the lack of a map or satellite
navigation. Nowadays, the UK road network is quite easy to navigate around by just
following signs due to the abundance of signs in use.