Secrets to Passing the DMV Test: Part 2

Now that you have studied hard and passed the written portion of your driver’s test, it is time to prepare for and take the final portion of testing to be on your way to enjoying the freedoms of driving. Receiving your driver’s license is a key milestone in teenage life and it is understandable at this point to become excited and anxious for that new stage of your life, but don’t allow this to distract you. The most important portion of your testing is still to come and getting ahead of yourself can lead to an automatic failure, a very discouraging outcome so close to completion. Many believe that the road driver’s test is the most difficult portion of the process to complete, but just as it was with the written driver’s test if you are prepared you will surely pass with ease.

Similar to the written driver’s test, most people fail because they are not adequately educated or prepared for the test. The Department of Motor Vehicles requires that each new driver complete a minimum of 50 hours driving time with a licensed driver, and 15 of those hours must be after sunset or at night. Also an important fact to keep in mind is that it is illegal to practice in a certified driver’s test area before the test. Before getting behind the wheel, be sure that you know all of the rules and laws in your state and are able to identify each traffic sign ahead of time. This can be done by re-reading your DMV handbook and using other reliable sources such as for valuable information and self-assessment tests. You should know all of the material covered in the DMV handbook, but some key points to remember while driving are as follows:

  • Traffic Signals and there purpose. You should know what each signal means, when it is safe and legal to make a left turn and which is the appropriate lane to turn into at an insertion. Also know what the “point of no return” refers to and at least one way to identify whether or not a yellow is about to turn red.
  • The most common traffic signs and what to do. Stop signs, yields, lane merging warnings, pedestrian crossings and school zone signs are commonly found in every area you will be practicing. It is important that you know what to do when you come across these signs. Most importantly know how to identify and follow speed limit signs.
  • Emergency Vehicles and railroad tracks. You will find yourself at the least with a large fine or potential in serious danger if you cannot properly handle these situations on the road. You must remember to automatically pull to the right and yield to all emergency vehicles regardless of where you are on the road. In addition, you need to know that when the signals at a railroad track begin to flash, the gates are about to lower and a train is coming through. Failing to yield to these can result in fatal accidents.
  • Using your vehicle correctly. Know how to adjust your mirrors to the proper positions and when to use them. Understand that you must signal when changing lanes or making a turn to notify other drivers on the road of your intended actions. It is also wise to buckle up and know your state’s seatbelt laws.

It is advised to re-read your DMV handbook and study this important information as a review the night before you begin your first on the road lesson so that these vital aspects of driving are fresh in your mind the first time on the road. Remember, the other drivers will expect you to know and follow all traffic laws and will not be understanding that you are new to the road.

Your First Day on the Road

The golden rule on your first day of driving on the road is to keep things simple. Like learning anything else, it is best to start out slowly and work your way up to larger tasks. Begin on residential roads, where speed limits are 25 and slower than main roads with less traffic to deal with. Practice making simple left and right turns correctly in your neighborhood, as well as reading the commonly found signs in your area. Stop signs, yields and school zones are common in these areas. Some tips for residential practice include:

  • Stay Alert. While there are less vehicles and slower speeds in residential neighborhoods to worry about, there are more people walking and children playing causing a new set of dangers.
  • Keep your eyes on the road. Parked cars cause blind spots where children and animals can run out with only a few seconds warning to break.
  • Be sure to take speed limits in these areas seriously. There are severe tickets for speeding in residential zones in addition to added risks for safety.

A great goal for a first day is:

  • Pulling out of a drive way
  • Two left and two right turns
  • A least one yield and stop sign
  • Drive through a school zone area
  • Practice parking on a curb

Don’t just drive around randomly in a neighborhood, have a purpose for your trip. Make it a goal to visit a friend or relative in the area or head up to the local store for milk. This way you can become accustomed to regular driving right away.

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