Driver training focuses on the skills needed to operate a vehicle and the rules of the road. It is designed to help students learn the basics of driving and prepare them for taking their driving test.
This training can be beneficial for both the driver and other motorists on the road. A driver who is well trained will avoid accidents and improve vehicle safety.
Learn the Rules of the Road
There are many rules of the road that you must follow to drive safely and legally. These include speed limits, turn and yield signs, traffic signals, emergency sirens, and more. Learning these rules of the road before you begin your driving training will help you avoid accidents and keep other drivers safe on the road.
One rule that is often overlooked by new drivers is the law about staying in your lane while driving. It can be easy to drift out of your lane and cause an accident or a backup in traffic. This is especially true if you are a beginner driver or haven’t been driving for a while.
Another rule that’s often missed is the law about letting people pass you when they can safely do so. This is particularly important for pedestrians and bicyclists who may be sharing the road with you.
Practicing this rule until it becomes second nature is essential for your safety on the road. Also, make sure you are always wearing your seat belt when you are in the car. This is the law in every state and it’s always best to be safe.
It’s also important to remember that you should give the right-of-way to vehicles that are in front of you or behind you. This includes other cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles.
You should never go over the yellow lines that separate traffic moving in opposite directions, and you must always use your turn signal to change lanes when necessary. Similarly, you should only cross the white lines when it’s safe to do so.
While these rules of the road are vital for your safety, they can be confusing for new drivers. This is why it’s a good idea to start learning them a few months before you take your test.
The Official Highway Code is a great resource for learning these rules of the road. It’s available online and also in print.
If you are preparing for your driving test, it’s also a good idea to read the driving handbook provided by your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. This will help you familiarize yourself with the state’s laws and other driving information.
Practice on Low-Speed Roads
If you are a new driver, practicing on low-speed roads is crucial to mastering the basics of driving. These streets offer fewer vehicles and can provide practice for driving at different times of the day, at night, and in different weather conditions.
As a first step in your training, stick to roads that have a speed limit of 35 mph or less, and emphasize that the posted limit is only a guide for acceptable speeds in good weather and conditions. In fact, you may need to drive even slower in poor weather or heavy traffic or when there are many pedestrians.
The next step in your training is to learn how to use your vehicle’s primary control combinations (steering & throttle, steering & brake, brake & throttle). Slow-speed manoeuvres help you master these skills by giving you time to practice each maneuver without having to change gears or apply the clutch.
You can also take your training to quiet residential streets and highways to get familiar with the feel of driving at different times and levels of traffic. Rural highways are also a great place to practice passing slower vehicles, and driving at night.
Once you are comfortable with the basics of driving, you can move on to more challenging driving situations. Start in an empty parking lot and practice coming to a stop and accelerating quickly without jerking the wheel. Once you have a solid grasp of this, take your training to industrial areas. These can give you a good feel for a variety of traffic situations, such as gravel roads, railroad tracks, traffic signals, and 4-way stops.
While more states are allowing LSVs on the road, crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that the mix of these vehicles and regular traffic is a dangerous combination. This is because these vehicles aren’t designed to protect their occupants in crashes, and they don’t follow the same basic safety standards as cars or pickups.
Get Comfortable With the Car
Getting comfortable with your car is one of the most important things to do as a driver. It will allow you to focus on driving safely, which in turn will help you avoid accidents.
Your first steps in getting comfortable with your car are to practice the basics, such as applying gas and brakes, steering, turning and reversing. Get used to these skills in a safe, familiar environment like an empty parking lot or side street.
Another important part of driving is noticing your surroundings. Make a conscious effort to check your mirrors, the road ahead and the traffic in front of you every few seconds.
Once you have developed confidence in these basic driving skills, start to take your training to quiet streets and highways. Practicing on low-traffic areas and highways will build your skill level in different situations, including merging from and exiting service roads, changing lanes and maintaining speed.
As you progress, you can add new challenges to your practice sessions. For example, have your student drive on a road with other cars or multiple lanes.
Then, have them drive at a slower speed than they are used to. When you are confident they are able to handle these scenarios, work up to faster speeds until they are comfortable.
You can also mix up your practice vehicles for a while. For instance, try driving in a truck or a smaller car for a few times.
By mixing up your practice vehicles, you will learn how each vehicle responds to different situations and how they handle different types of roads and weather conditions. This will also help you develop a better sense of how to drive on different terrains, such as hills, dirt roads and busy streets.
Finally, have your student try to avoid distractions while they are driving. This is important because a distracted driver can become more prone to making mistakes while driving, which will increase the risk of an accident.
As a driving instructor, you can help your students learn to stay focused on the road and avoid distractions by asking them what they think should happen before they do it. This will give them a chance to think through their actions, and it will make them more likely to succeed.
Take Your Training to Quiet Streets
Driving is a skill that takes time to learn. It also requires a lot of practice to get it right. So, it’s no wonder that drivers often get frustrated when they don’t master their new skills fast enough.
It’s a good idea to start out with driving lessons on quiet roads and empty parking lots. These places will allow your teen to build their confidence before they begin practicing on busy roads.
Quiet streets are a great place to practice basic driving tasks, such as stopping at stop signs or anticipating cars that might be exiting driveways. Your teen can then move on to more advanced tasks, such as reversing around corners.
These areas are also helpful for learning how to change lanes and use intersections. Once your teen is comfortable driving on quiet streets, they can graduate to residential and suburban areas with wider roads and less traffic.
While these quieter roads may offer a safer environment for your teen, they still can present dangers to pedestrians. This is because pedestrians aren’t as visible to motorists and may not be able to react quickly in the case of an emergency.
This can be especially dangerous in residential areas, where people are more likely to walk or ride their bikes. Many studies show that the risk of a pedestrian being hit by a quiet vehicle increases by 40%.
Your teen should be taught to keep a clear “safety space” around the car, so that they can see what’s ahead of them and react rapidly to changing road conditions. This is an important skill for any driver to have, but especially a new one.
It’s a good rule of thumb to spend several hours on a quiet street or in an empty parking lot before moving on to busier roads. It will give your teen the chance to practice basic driving skills without distractions, which can help them develop better habits for future driving lessons.
While you’re practicing on quiet streets, you can also take some time to practice parallel parking and reversing around turns. These manoeuvres will often be required on a driving test, and they need to be performed in quiet locations to avoid creating hazards for other road users.