Driving experience is pivotal to passing a road or skills test. During the exam you’re graded on all driving facets, from integrating into traffic to parallel parking to obeying road signs – all simple tasks to the experienced driver.
So, how do you gain experience? Easy answer: Enroll in a drivers training program.
What You’ll Learn in Driver Training
All states and most towns offer driver training schools. Most schools combine classroom instructions with actual behind-the-wheel training . The purpose of driving lessons is to make you a lifelong safe driver and to help ace your driver license road test.
Topics covered in a driving school include:
- Deciphering highway road signs, signal lights, and road markings (i.e. yellow lines, white lines, cross walks, bicycle lanes).
- Understanding the vehicle and its controls, covering everything from dashboard gauge lights to the importance of adjusting side and rearview mirrors.
- Basic driving skills: moving into traffic; maintaing space with other vehicles; signaling; turning in intersections; communicating with pedestrians and other motorists; backing up; negotiating three-point turns, U-turns and two-point turns; passing; changing lanes; parking; and maintaining and monitoring speed.
- Rules of the road. This covers a variety of driving situations including right of way, speed limits, railroad crossings, and laws on texting and cell phone use.
- Sharing the road with pedestrians, bicyclists, commercial vehicles, motorcyclists, and wildlife.
- The differences of driving in traffic, in the city and in the country.
- Adapting your speed to changing weather conditions.
- The importance of minimizing in-car distractions.
- The dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
- How to keep your drivers license.
Is Drivers Training Mandatory?
Depending on your state and your age, completing a drivers training program might be mandatory. If this applies to you, make sure the class you enroll in is recognized by the state. Your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will not accept a course completion certificate from a non-sanctioned program. If in doubt, contact your DMV for a list of approved driving schools.
Even if your state or situation does not require drivers training, enrollment is still strongly encouraged. The lessons you’ll learn will follow you for life and, depending on your car insurance provider, enrollment may lower your premiums.
Plan on getting behind the wheel for the first time? Are you nervous or excited? Share your thoughts below with our community of first-time drivers.