Without however, a sociological study in support, obtaining a driving license is often one of the elements to make the transition from the world of adolescence to the adult world. To young eyes, the driver’s license represents freedom but it also comes with responsibilities.

The objective of the SAAQ is that each learner shows:

  1. An excellent knowledge of the Code of Quebec Road Safety ;
  2. A good sense of anticipation;
  3. The ability to share road in compliance with rules of priority and courtesy;
  4. His  autonomy;
  5. The skills needed to control his vehicle.

In short, it’s time to demonstrate that you have confidence in your abilities and that you are able to drive alone, without regard to the sector of the city where you are and take the safer decision which is necessary, according to the events that present themselves to you during your journey.

Tip 1 – * The danger is in delay

It all starts in your first course, or at least one year in advance. The maneuvers bases being taught during the first practical courses aimed at developing habits to be able to detect dangers anticipate the mistakes of others develop your vision. In short, be aware of what is happening around you. Are you not told « that you must drive for others »?

The assessor will evaluate your understanding of CSRQ regarding road signs (signs, traffic lights, lines on the roadway, pedestrian crossings, etc.), check your habits (blind spot verification the opposite side mirrors), the way you communicate (flashing, the vehicle position) and the sharing of the road. Eventually, you have to demonstrate your sense of anticipation, and that you control the speed of your vehicle based on the area you integrate. But be careful! If you drive too slowly, it plays against you if the circumstances do not warrant it. Excessive caution is often perceived as hesitation.

This is your practical exam in a few days and it is not natural for you to do all these checks, you still less understand the rationale of these maneuvers or you take the appropriate time to put them in execution. In this case, it is better to postpone your exam of a few weeks and take a few more advanced courses.

Understand: it is with you that we will share the road tomorrow.

*Don Quichotte by Miguel de Cervantès

Tip 2 – *** Silence is a true friend that never betrays

Be discreet. With the arrival of all means of communication (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), it is not necessary to notify all the band of buddies of the stage where you are at your driving course. It is completely unnecessary to add yourself the extra pressure by advising all friends of the day of your test.

From experience, we know that more often than not you will get information or comments which will increase your fears or worse, completely wacky advice. Furthermore, the fact to notify your friends of the « D » day greatly increases your stress. In addition to driving in the presence of a stranger, to know that he is watching you and evaluates your driving, you will also have in mind the amount of time you have to explain the results of your practical exam to friends, should an unfavorable result. We believe that the surprise announcement of a positive result to your peers is much more pleasant than to explain many times the reasons for failure. This is how urban legends are born. Invented reasons of any documentation to relax failure in the eyes of friends


***   Confucius

Tip 3 – *** Do not count your chickens before they are hatched

Too often we have seen students plan an outing with friends on the day of examination. Another way to increase your stress unnecessarily.


Tip 4 – The cell off

Shit, I cast my review! What has happened? You got me text and phoned while I was in review… (Oops!) Is it necessary to say more…

Tip 5 – Accompanyingthe review

The majority of DSAQ schools members accompany the student during the practical examination when he rents the driving school car. A popular service for both parents and students. This formula prevents parents to lose half a day’s work and make the taxi. For students the benefits are many and very advantageous. For an hour or two just before the road test, the monitor performs a review of the student’s driving habits. In addition to ensuring that he understands the rules of priority, he also checks the understanding of certain aspects of traffic (speed, road signs, etc.), his sense of anticipation and ability to share the road in compliance with the rules of priority and courtesy.

Tip 6 – An automobile in good condition

The vehicle used in the examination must be in good condition to travel on the road. Therefore, ensure inter alia that the windshield is in excellent condition, the turn signals, lights and headlights are working, that the emergency brake and the horn are operational, that your tires are adequate (pressure, wear meets the standards in winter, etc.) and finally, that there has ample gasoline (no indicator light). A defect in any of these elements could result in cancellation of the examination.

Tip 7 – The correct documents in hand

You must have on hand the right updated documents: vehicle registration, proof of insurance, driving license, certificate of driving lessons if applicable and parental authorization (without error) if less than 18 years. Proof of current insurance is the most common error.

Tip 8 – Parking is not a race

There really is not a game of skill. Demonstrate your ability to anticipate risks and driving safely. Take the time you need. Depending on the type of parking you have to perform, it is essential to understand why you execute different checking maneuvers. Similarly, you must be able not only to correct your trajectory but also to understand why you have not managed your parking as usual.

Tip 9 – One step at a time

The practical exam is an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise. Stay focused on your driving, one step at a time, depending on the indications of the evaluator. Think about the next step, not the whole examination or at the end of it.

Sometimes the journey seems so short in the eyes of the person under investigation that she believes have failed.

Tip 10 – Practice is essential

There is no secret to be confident and be a safe driver, cooperative and responsible. Hundred times on the job … it is through practice that we acquire fluency and vigilance. Work out in various city areas by applying the tips and tactics that have been taught to you in your driving course. Get out of your comfort zone.


François Lauzière

Note: François Lauzière is president of the Driving School Association of Quebec (DSAQ) and co-owner of École de conduite Parcours. He is also a trainer-expert dedicated to the training of monitors and driving instructors for schools, members of DSAQ.