For a new driver in B.C., the ICBC road test is all that stands in the way of automotive freedom, with demand for the tests reaching an all-time high.
“We’ve just seen a huge increase over the last year, really,” says ICBC driver examiner supervisor Jerry Boal.
ICBC says 22 per cent more road tests were completed in May on Vancouver Island compared to the monthly average.
The problem is that nearly half of those tests result in failures, putting further strain on the booking system and stalling the process.
Many drivers head into their tests lacking the necessary knowledge.
“I think people come in a little too unprepared,” says Boal.
“They need to make sure that they’re spending way more time behind the wheel to get that driving experience, maybe they’re not getting the correct teachings as well.”
Failure on the first test is something driving school owner Joan Wallace says can be avoided by brushing up on driving knowledge and spending time behind the wheel with a trained instructor.
“They need to get some professional instruction, I strongly believe that,” says Wallace.
“Fifty per cent of the people that are parent taught fail. Students who take a course or even a couple of lessons, their chances of passing go up to about 74 per cent.”
In the meantime, ICBC is providing drivers with some tips for a successful road test, including starting with the right mindset, boosting your confidence behind the wheel, extensive practice and speed maintenance.
“We get people are super nervous when they come in for their road test,” says Boal.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s their first, second or third time, it’s really making sure you’re confident, making sure you know what you’re doing and you’re going to be more successful on the road.”
Drivers can visit ICBC’s website for more resources and road test practice tips.