Learners Permit Secrets: part 3
Once you have spent a considerable amount of time practicing on side streets, you can begin to challenge yourself to public main roads. Remember to begin accumulation as much road time as possible in order to meet the minimum hour requirements for your state. Statistics state that you must drive at least 15 minutes per day, everyday to reach the state minimum requirement of 50 hours in 6 months time. While this may be possible for some, you may want to balance out your time and have a practice plan in place. This will assure that you practice every important aspect you will come across on your road test and can drive safely on the road.
Develop a Practice Plan
Each state requires that you complete between 30 and 50 hours of practice time with an approved supervising driver and those hours must be recorded in a drivers-log. Most states require you to log your time in the log, at least 10 of which must be at night, and signed by your driver. These logs however only record the times, dates and amounts of driving that you do. While helpful to assure you have the correct amount of driving experience; it cannot help you track what aspects of safe driving that you practice. So it is essential you create a game plan to assure you pass the road test on your first try:
- The first step is to study. Use your states Drivers Manual as a guide. All aspects of safe driving will be found in here. In some cases your state may even list the test materials covered during your drivers test so that you can practice them in particular for a high score.
- Cheat Sheets available on www.dmvcheatsheets.com will give you a detailed guideline to use for driving training on the road. Use these sheets as a checklist for what to cover on the road. In addition, excellent articles will provide with helpful testing tips. Many fun interactive online checklists will help you keep track of the material you have covered, as well as show the progress of other teen drivers across the country and how they measure up to your learning.
- Many common aspects of safe driving are covered regardless of your state, so these should be your first goal for mastering road skills and include:
- Traffic Sign Knowledge is the first step in becoming a safe driver. The ability to recognize common signs and signals will help you avoid an accident.
- Your states drivers’ manual will also include traffic laws and the penalties for breaking them that you must know before driving. These will include laws regarding drinking and driving, texting while on the road and speeding violations.
- The second aspect of the road skills exam will be to determine your ability to control your vehicle with maneuverability tests. These skills can only be learned with practice on the road and time so it is essential you use every minute on the road to your learning advantage. Testing will include such aspects as stopping and starting, turns and backing up and parallel parking. You will be required to demonstrate competency when making left and right hand turns at intersections, changing lanes and other physical aspects of vehicle control.
Write out a checklist covering this basic information either on a computer or by hand and divide up your driving time to practice these skills. If you find you are having more trouble mastering one skill in particular, adjust your checklist to allow more time for development in this area. Time allotted specifically to driving practice is great, but there are also great ways to squeeze in some extra road time during daily life including:
- Driving to and from school during the school year adds up over time
- Ask to drive to the market or store. Running errands can quickly add up to hours of practical drive time and vary the times of day you are on the roads to assist in honing your skills.
- If your state allows, alternate your licensed supervising driver between parents or relatives as long as they meet the state criteria. Each experienced driver will have pieces of wisdom to offer in assisting you to become a safe driver, and allows for even more opportunities for practice.
Important Circumstances to Practice with a Learners Permit
There are certain special circumstances to be aware of when practicing on your learner’s permit that may not present an opportunity for experience. These situations can come at any time while in your final road test, so it is important to be aware of them before you schedule your exam as improper handling will cause an automatic failure.
- Emergency Vehicles on the road are cause for some quick thinking and maneuvering. If you live in an urban area, you may have the chance to practice in advance but often the situation doesn’t present itself. Emergency vehicles include fire trucks, ambulances and police vehicles and when they are operating emergency sirens they automatically have the right-of-way. There are Cheat Sheets that cover the proper handling of an emergency vehicle for your state so be sure to study up.
- Each state requires some amount of night driving in your log to obtain a license. Night driving is different from daylight hours, even on familiar roads you have driven previously. Your line of sight is greatly decreased, making stopping in an emergency even more hazardous.