Can you book a practical driving test when pregnant?
The driving test is stressful enough on its own, minus being pregnant. However, there are no rules that say pregnant women cannot book a practical driving test at any stage in their pregnancy. So, what ‘special measures’ can you expect from the driving test when you’re expecting?
None… no exceptions are made for pregnant women who decide to book a driving test, regardless of what stage they are at in their pregnancy. Seems harsh, but you will be expected to sit the test in exactly the same way as other learner drivers – barring those with special needs.
3 FAQs when booking a practical driving test while pregnant
#1 – Will I have to perform the emergency stop manoeuvre?
This is a common question for heavily pregnant women, mainly because of their proximity to the steering wheel when performing the emergency stop manoeuvre. However, you have to be prepared to carry out the manoeuvre as your examiner could include the emergency stop, regardless of pregnancy.
It’s not a foregone conclusion that you will have to do an emergency stop, but for every three tests conducted, one will include this manoeuvre. The examiner has no control over this either, because details of your particular test are part of a syllabus, along with other information, such as the route you will be taking.
If you’re asked to perform the emergency stop manoeuvre, but fail to do so, you will not pass your driving test.
#2 – Do all driving test centres have toilets?
Pregnancy obviously increases the need to go to the toilet. The problem is, not all driving test centres have toilet facilities! When you book a practical driving test, it’s worth finding out whether the venue at which you’re taking your test has toilets available.
Being pregnant, sat in a car, under test conditions is uncomfortable enough, without having to endure the driving test needing to go to the loo. The Sutton Coldfield Driving Test Centre went as far as banning toilet trips before tests in November 2016 to ‘reduce driving test waiting times.’
Apparently, toilet time led to a test backlog, prompting closures. Therefore, pregnant women should be aware of toilet availability before booking a driving test.
#3 – Do I have to wear a seatbelt?
A number of aspects of the driving test will require plenty of observation, including looking over your shoulder when checking blind spots or reversing. Understandably, this is much more difficult to do when you’re strapped in by a seatbelt, while heavily pregnant.
Although you are required, by law, to wear a seatbelt it is perfectly legal to remove your belt during your driving test, if you are reversing your vehicle. Unfastening your seatbelt enables you to look around more thoroughly as you’re less restrained.
Make sure you put your seatbelt back on upon completing a reversing manoeuvre. Moving the car forward, even an inch, will result in test failure if you’re not wearing a seatbelt.
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Tags: Better Driving Guide