Driving Tips

Getting Started

New behind the wheel? No worries. This area of TeenDriving.com has been created to help you go through the basics of driving. Here you’ll learn about driver’s education options and graduated license programs, as well as the general rules of what you should be doing when you’re on the road. We also have what you’ll need to know when it comes to getting your driver’s license, and plenty of other great tips.

Learning to Drive

Being a new driver is exciting and opens the door to a world of independence. With this new found freedom, of course, comes responsibility. Many people lose their lives or are seriously injured due to teens driving recklessly, driving while fatigued and/or distracted, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or simply not having enough experience. That’s why it’s so vital to know the rules and obey them carefully. Driving is a privilege – treat the road with respect.

Driver’s Education Options

Each state or district has different requirements for getting your license.  Most require a combination of classroom and behind-the-wheel training.  Online Driving schools such as Driversed.com allow you to take courses online at your own pace and graduate with the certificate required to start in-car driving lessons .  DMV.org is another good resource for checking out the requirements for each US state.

Getting Behind the Wheel For the 1st Time

Whether it’s with a parent or a certified instructor, you’re probably going to be nervous.  There may be a natural instinct to shift right towards the shoulder on two-lane roads.  It’s ok, take it slow (make sure you put a Student Driver decal on the back of your car if you’re on public roads).  When getting ready to switch lanes, check your mirrors and manually check over your shoulder before turning the steering wheel. Merging onto freeways is especially tough for new drivers – this takes practice and it’s probably best to stick to side streets until you build up the confidence to tackle the freeway.

Learning to drive takes time and patience. No one is a born driver; we all have to learn rules and make a few mistakes along the way. The more you drive, the more confident you’ll become.
DriversEd.com-The leading provider of online drivers education.

Are You A Safe Driver?

Small habits make a huge difference. Look over this checklist (recommended by the State of California DMV) and ask yourself if you really do all of these things.  If you don’t, make a conscious effort to begin doing them.

When starting your car, do you:

  • Put on your seat belt and make sure others are buckled?
  • Make sure your mirrors and seat are adjusted properly?
  • Know where all the controls are located?


When moving forward, do you:

  • Turn on your signal?
  • Check your mirrors and look over your shoulder before pulling into traffic?
  • Use both hands on opposite sides of the steering wheel?


When stopping, do you:

  • Check traffic all around?
  • Stop behind crosswalks and limit lines?
  • Stop without keeping your foot on the gas?


When turning, do you:

  • Slow down?
  • Yield right of way when necessary?
  • Begin and end turns in the correct lane?
  • Accept legal right of way when safe?
  • See and react appropriately to hazards?

 When backing up, do you:

  • Check your mirrors?
  • Look over both shoulders?


When changing lanes, do you:

  • Signal and check your mirror?
  • Check over your shoulder to see your blind spot?
  • Change lanes safely?
  • Maintain your speed?


When driving on the freeway, do you:

  • Check the traffic flow?
  • Time your entry onto the freeway?
  • Check your mirrors and over your shoulder before merging into traffic?
  • Signal early and slow on the exit ramp?
  • Adjust your speed to the current road conditions?


When it comes to defensive driving, do you:

  • Keep a lookout all around, including way up ahead?
  • Check your mirrors before braking?
  • Follow at a safe distance?
  • Check cross streets before passing?
  • Check for signal lights and hand signs?
  • Keep a “space cushion” around your car?
Good habits require repetition. These safe driver techniques will come easy with time, and now is the moment to put them into practice.
DriversEd.com-The leading provider of online drivers education.  Ensuring you’ll get your permit the first time!

Getting Your License

Getting your license is an exciting time, but taking the test can also cause a lot of anxiety.  Remember, it’s totally fine if you don’t pass your written or driving test the first time. All you have to do is try again.  Plenty of people don’t pass the first time – don’t beat yourself up if you don’t.   Below are some helpful reminders.

The Driving Test

Before taking your driving test, it’s a good idea to practice with a parent or an instructor. Find out exactly what you’ll need to do for the driving portion of the test, and have your parent or instructor ask you to judge you on those things. This will help make you feel more confident for the actual test. Below are some tips for that.

Graduated License Programs

These types of programs were created to ease new teen drivers into full driving privileges gradually over time in low-risk environments as they develop their driving skills. Basically, no nighttime, freeway, or unsupervised driving is allowed in the initial stages of the program. By requiring more supervised practice, the goal of these programs is to save lives, prevent injuries, and emphasize a good driving record. Typically, graduated license programs begin with a learner’s permit, then move on to a restricted/probationary license, followed by a full driver’s license.

I failed my driving the driving test the first time (hit a cone while parallel parking). Just continue practicing and take the test when you feel comfortable behind-the-wheel.

Gaining Experience

Practice makes perfect. Don’t worry if you make mistakes—there is no such thing as a perfect driver.  New drivers are especially vulnerable to messing up here and there, but here are a few tips to help you get started.

Good Practices

Awareness is Vital

Never underestimate the value of knowing the basics. Something as simple as glancing at your mirror or letting someone know where you’re going can make all the difference in the world. Embrace the “small things” and keep yourself safe.