When you finish your driver education program, you may be ready to pass your driving test but that doesn’t mean you’re fully prepared to drive in any situation. The best drivers are the ones with the most experience—and it may take about five years or longer before you can realistically expect to gain all the skills needed for safe driving.
Know your vehicle
You likely used an instructor’s car during your driver education program. Now that you’re finished, you’ll be driving a different vehicle—whether it’s yours or your parents’. Since every car is different, you’ll have to learn where everything is and what everything does in that vehicle before heading out to practice.
Keep it simple
When you’re set to begin your practice sessions, agree with your parents on a safe way to communicate while you’re driving. Whether you pull over for quick lessons or ask questions whenever you feel comfortable, come up with a plan to minimize distractions.
Start in less challenging situations where there is little or no traffic. Driving in empty parking lots and on quiet side roads will help you build confidence without having to worry about other motorists, cyclists or pedestrians.
Practice in challenging situations
Once you’re comfortable in simpler situations, you can start taking on challenges such as:
- Highway driving
- Driving in heavy traffic
- Nighttime driving
- Driving in heavy snow and rainstorms