- Location: North Carolina
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Learning to drive as a teen takes patience and time, but is worth the effort to ensure you become a good driver. With motor vehicle crashes being the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year-olds, your growing experience can make the difference in keeping yourself―and others―safe behind the wheel.
It may not be obvious what a complex skill driving a car really is, so it helps to plan ahead. When you're ready to drive, have an outline for driver's training. This will help you learn the necessary skills to drive a car safely and responsibly.
While North Carolina does not require a certain amount of time behind the wheel in order to take the driving test, the mandatory driver's training class does include six hours of driving time (as part of a 30-hour class requirement). However, this is not nearly enough to become proficient. The more you practice, the better your skills will be when it comes time to pass the road test and drive solo.
The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers its Driver's Handbook online in English or Spanish. You can also get a printed copy at any driver license office. Reviewing this before setting out on the road is a great first step in preparation for your first driving lesson.
You should also be familiar with the eligibility requirements and restrictions on teen driver licenses.
Your parent's insurance company is another great source for information. When they add you to your parent's insurance policy, ask about driver's training videos and books they might offer, or if they recommended any particular driver's education courses.
When practice driving, spend your first few sessions off-road, such as in a parking lot. Practice starting and stopping, accelerating and slowing down, and basic turns. Fifteen to 20 minutes per session is enough time for early lessons; as you get better and are able to concentrate for longer periods of time, you can go to longer practice sessions.
Move on to lightly traveled roads and then to heavier traffic and finally, to highways. Master basic skills then build on them as you become ready.
Remember to be aware of your surroundings. Give yourself plenty of time to signal, change lanes, and make turns.
A lot of sobering statistics exist about teens and driving. Teenagers have the highest crash rates and highest fatality rates across the nation. The DMV has provided an information page about driver safety to help you out.Driving Schools
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