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In Oklahoma, driver's training is taught immediately after you complete the 30 hours of driver education study.
In order to complete your driver's training program, you must complete 50 hours of training behind the wheel of a motor vehicle (10 of those hours at night). If you're taking Parent Taught Driver Education, the behind-the-wheel requirement is 55 hours. Here's a list of the skills you will learn and become experienced with during this training:
- Parallel parking
- Hill parking
- Starting on a hill
- Intersection movement
- Intersection observance
- Lane observance and changing
- Left and right turns
- Pedestrian and vehicle right-of-way
- Proper use of automatic and/or standard transmission
- Use of brake and accelerator
- Traffic lights and signals
While the above list might not look like 55 hours worth of learning material, keep in mind that you will need to practice these skills over and over for a while until you get them down. Most good drivers still practice skills from time to time and work hard during their own driver's training.
Practicing these skills over a period of time is a great way to become a better driver―especially if you're a first-time driver. Once you begin to encounter different driving conditions, you'll begin to understand that not all driving is the same. Driving in rain is very different from driving on a sunny day, which is different altogether from driving in the snow or ice.
If possible try to spread your driver's training time over a season or two. Perhaps you can begin in late autumn and drive while it is still dry and clear. Then, you can get used to driving before the rain and snow of winter settle in.
In a survey by Virginia Tech and the National Transportation Safety Administration, distracted drivers make up 80% of all crashes and drivers age 18―20 were four times more likely to be involved in automobile accidents.
Remember, while you are driving, nothing should come between you and the road. Keeping an eye on the road ahead, the car in front of you, the cars beside you and the car behind you are your main priorities when driving. Everything else, such as the following, should take a back seat:
Keep the music down or off. While music is wonderful and lots of fun to listen to while you drive, it can become a major distractions. The changing of CDs or radio stations can take your eyes and attention off the road for dangerous periods. You'll have less time to react if a traffic situation develops.
Don't eat while you drive. You can easily get distracted by spilling, dropping, or dealing with messy food. It's surprising how much of your vision is blocked when you try to eat and drive. Also, driving with one hand is not safe, especially if you drive a standard transmission vehicle.
Don't talk on a cell phone while you drive. A recent study showed that people who talk on a cell phone while driving a car are almost as dangerous as a drunk driver. Switch the phone to messages while you drive and return calls once you stop the car.
Wait to put on makeup, comb your hair, check your teeth, or do other personal care until you have stopped the car. A few looks in the mirror and grabbing a lipstick or a comb can take your eyes off the road long enough to cause a serious accident.
Don't drive with a car full of friends. Yes, part of the fun of driving is to drive around with friends. But too much fun can make for serious distraction. Many fatal teen crashes involve not just the teen driver but passengers, other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Wait to hang with friends at a meeting place.
Don't try to read, study, watch a DVD, text message or do any other activities that take your eyes and mind off the road. Wait until your car is stopped to take your mind off the road.
Remember to always maintain the proper distance between your car and the vehicle ahead of you. Stay aware and alert and you'll avoid accidents, near-misses and the need to make sudden corrective moves. Remember the old saying: Arrive Alive.Driving Schools
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