Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Ritual behaviour in road test bid

The rituals followed by learner drivers have been revealed

Nerves can have a crippling effect on learner drivers once they get to test day. Here, instructors with the AA Driving School recall particularly superstitious students whose desire to get their full licence resulted in carrying out unusual rituals:

:: One pupil wore the T-shirt she had on when she gave birth to her daughter (now seven years old) and the trousers she was wearing before she conceived.

:: A learner had failed three times due to nerves. On her fourth attempt she had read that bananas were key to alertness so she ate two bananas just before her test and passed. She also swapped her lucky cowboy boots that she had worn on her other attempts for her trainers.

:: A learner bought a car shortly before she took her test. For good luck her mum cracked an egg on each tyre and bought her an "evil eye" toy to ward off people's envy and jealousy. She passed her test.

:: On the lesson before her test, a pupil wanted to stop and park (safely) whenever she saw two drains so she could get out and stand on them. She passed her test first time with only two minor faults.

:: Just before her lessons one learner used to play with her Nintendo Wii - Mario Kart. She had the steering wheel controller and felt it helped with steering on the actual lessons.

:: One learner had a lucky Italian Job T-shirt that they wore for all their school exams. They would not take their driving test unless they wore that particular T-shirt. They passed second time (wearing the garment on both attempts).

:: A s tudent's mother gave his dad a particular brand of chocolate bar when he first took his HGV 1 test. He passed and it is now something that all the family does when someone has a driving test. The young student, his brother and cousins all followed this ritual, and all passed first time.

:: Several students follow the superstition of saluting magpies, avoiding certain dates like Friday 13, or refuse to cross the path of a black cat.

:: Some learners carry favourite soft toys, a lucky champagne cork or aromatherapy oil to sooth the nerves while others wear lucky underwear, socks, shoes or jewellery.

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