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driving skills to practice

Even though young drivers only make up 5% of the licensed drivers, it’s estimated that they still account for 8.4% of all fatal crashes. Dangerous behaviors like distracted driving, speeding, and drunk driving certainly contribute to these statistics.

However, the main thing that causes these accidents is a lack of essential driving skills. That’s why you must know these driving skills to practice before you get your license. 

Not only will they help you pass your driver’s test, but more importantly they’ll also keep you safe on the road. In this guide, we’ll cover nine different areas that you should master before you get your driver’s license.  

1. Vehicle Knowledge  

Every vehicle is different in terms of where it places certain buttons and functions. Before you start driving, you must familiarize yourself with all the functions for driving safety. 

This should include basic things, like how to turn on the headlights and operate the turn signals. However, you should also check where your hazard lights are in case you need to use them in a pinch. 

Since all vehicles are different, you should perform a check any time you drive a rental car or a vehicle for new driving.  

2. Road Knowledge 

There are a lot of different signs and symbols on the road. Some of these, like the stop sign, are ingrained in our heads. However, others will require you to study.

It can take a while to memorize all of the necessary road signs and symbols, but it’s a necessary part of safely navigating the road before getting your license. 

3. Parking 

Parking might come naturally to some people, but for the rest of us, it’s a vital skill that needs practicing. That’s because whether you’re backing into a space or backing out of one, you’re going to need to know how to reverse.

Reversing can be a confusing concept since the vehicle will go the opposite way when you turn the wheel. Because of this, you just need to keep practicing until it becomes muscle memory.

The best way to do this is to practice with someone in an empty parking lot. Once you master the basics of parking, you can move on to parallel parking. It might be best to work with a professional on this skill since it can stump even the most experienced drivers. 

4. Safe Driving Practices

Remember that when you get behind a vehicle you’re not only responsible for your life but also the people in your vehicle and on the road with you. That’s why it’s vital to avoid unsafe driving practices.

That starts with speeding. Studies show that teen drivers are more likely to speed than older ones. And because speeding causes so many accidents, it needs to be avoided at all costs. Other practices you should avoid include: 

Remember that any time you drive it will require your full attention.

5. Navigating Intersections

Intersections are where a lot of accidents occur. That’s why it’s vital to know how to navigate them. This will involve learning intersection rules.

For example, if you’re turning left on a green light, you must yield to oncoming traffic. Similarly, you can usually turn right on a red light as long as you yield to any oncoming cars. 

6. Merging 

Merging successfully while driving requires a lot of awareness. That’s because you need to be doing two things at the same time. First, you’ll need to drive the vehicle and navigate it into the open lane you want to merge into.

However, on top of that, you also need to be checking to make sure you yield to any drivers in that lane. Like most things, we recommend practicing in a controlled environment.

That way, you aren’t panicking while trying it on the road. And remember that the key to merging is confidence. If you take a long time to switch lanes, you could create more dangerous driving conditions. 

7. Highway Driving

When you’re driving around town, things can feel pretty safe. Your speed likely won’t exceed forty-five MPH and there aren’t as many unexpected obstacles. As such, merging onto the highway for the first time can feel like a daunting task.

For starters, you’ll need to get a good handle on your merging skills first. You’ll also need to get used to driving at fast speeds which can be scary for some people at first.

The best advice for highway driving is to stay in your lane unless you need to change. There’s a lot of dangerous driving behavior on highways. And because the vehicles are going fast, the accidents can be much more severe.

So you need to make sure you’re completely alert while driving defensively in this environment. 

8. Driving in Bad Weather

Learning to drive in bad weather can take a lot of getting used to. If you drive in heavy rain, your visibility will be significantly reduced, even when your windshield wipers are on. The worst is slicked roads from ice and snow.

These driving conditions can cause your vehicle to slide and drift. Make sure you memorize some tips for dealing with slicked roads. Besides that, the best way to learn is by practicing. 

You’ll likely never fully get used to bad weather driving, but you can learn how to navigate it more safely if you have to. 

9. Night Driving

Night driving isn’t just hard because of low visibility. It’s also challenging getting used to headlights blinding you in your rear mirrors. 

It’s important to practice driving once the sun goes down as often as you would during that time. The only way to get good is to practice.  

Need Driving Skills to Practice? Contact Pierre Paul Driving

We hope this guide helped you learn essential driving skills to practice before getting your license. Here at Pierre Paul Driving, we know that new drivers develop at different rates.

Some will require time to focus on specific driving skills, like highway driving. That’s why we offer personalized lessons to help you focus on the skills you need.

Maybe that’s why our students have a 97% success rate. If you’re ready to get the driving help you need, contact us today