In order to pass your G road test, you’ll need to get comfortable with highway driving. Highway driving is understandably nerve-wracking – the increased speed requires drivers to be especially alert. Like many portions of the road test, though, there is a process you can learn in order to excel on the test. While intuition may work for most day-to-day highway driving situations, on the day of your road test, your examiner will be looking for certain practices and behaviours. To learn more about how to master the highway portion of the G test, read on:
How many times do you have to drive on a highway before taking your G test?
In order to be eligible to take the G test, you must have driven at least 5 times on a highway with a speed limit of least 80 km/hr and /or a 400 series highway within the last 3 months. Given the increased skill required to drive on the highway, the Ministry of Transportation introduces this requirement to make sure that G test takers have sufficient experience driving on the highway before taking the test.
What does the highway portion of the G road test include?
On the day of your G test, you’ll be asked to do the following:
- Merge onto the highway at the speed of oncoming traffic (typically 100 km/h)
- Drive on the highway and maintain a safe following distance
- Merge one lane to the left
- Merge back onto the rightmost lane
- Exit the highway at a safe speed
Typically, you will be asked to perform the above manoeuvres twice – once while going away from the road test (for example, eastwards on the 401), and another time returning in the direction of the road test (for example, back westwards on the 401).
How long is the highway portion of the G test?
The highway portion of the G test doesn’t actually last that long – since you’ll just be asked to enter, merge, and exit the highway twice, the actual highway driving doesn’t usually last longer than a minute or two.
What will the examiner be looking for?
During the highway portion of your road test, your examiner will be looking for certain key behaviours, namely:
1. Did you merge onto the highway at a safe speed?
Merging onto the highway properly is absolutely key to passing your road test. Specifically, your examiner will be looking to make sure that you enter the highway at the speed of oncoming traffic – typically 100 km/h on a 400-series highway in Ontario. Unless there’s significant traffic, not hitting the required speed will result in failing your road test. Often, even merging onto the highway at 80 km/h will be too slow – you’ll want to make sure you get as close to 100 km/h as possible. The logic here is that if you merge onto the highway too slowly, you’ll be both a) too far below the speed limit, and b) at risk of being hit by faster-moving vehicles.
2. Did you change lanes safely?
You will likely be required to perform 1-2 lane changes as part of your G test. To ace this part of the road test, just keep the acronym MSB in mind – mirror, signal, blindspot. Every time your examiner asks you to merge, make sure to check your mirrors for oncoming traffic, signal your lane change, and then check your blindspot, in that order. Assuming it’s all-clear, you can then change lanes at the speed of traffic.
3. Were you aware of your surroundings, and checking mirrors properly?
While you’re on the highway, your examiner will be looking to make sure that you’re aware of your surroundings. Specifically, they’ll be looking to make sure that you check your mirrors at least every 5-7 seconds. Since your examiner can’t always see your eyes moving, you’ll need to be a bit of a bobblehead – that is, physically turn your head slightly to indicate that you’re looking at your left mirror, right mirror, and top mirror.
4. Did you exit the highway safely?
Finally, your examiner will be assessing your ability to exit the highway safely. To do so, you’ll need to merge onto the exit lane and reduce your speed gradually, until you approach the highway exit. As you’re exiting the highway, you’ll see a yellow sign indicating the recommended speed at which to exit the highway. Stick as close to this speed as possible, in order to demonstrate to your examiner that you can safely exit the highway.
The highway portion of the G road test is a crucial aspect of the exam and requires a combination of skill, experience and knowledge. During the test, examiners will look for specific behaviours, such as merging onto the highway at a safe speed, changing lanes safely, being aware of surroundings and checking mirrors, and exiting the highway safely. Adhering to the guidelines discussed in this article will help ensure a successful outcome during the highway portion of the G road test.
If you’re looking to book driving lessons as a refresher before taking your G road test, we can help.
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