After you are through with the theory part of your driving classes, next is the practical segment, which takes you out to the field.
By the way, you can take the theory part of driving lessons online from the comfort of your house. You don’t have to attend classes. This should be good news for you if you are vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic or finds online lessons more convenient for whatever reasons.
But for the practical lessons, you have to be present in-person to apply the in-class lessons. To increase your chances of passing the road test, you have to practice driving on the road.
You can practice driving as long as you have a valid learner’s permit and an experienced driver with a driver’s license seated next to you.
The big question is: where is the best place to practice driving? As you will find out, each place depends on your confidence level, and the experience mastered so far.
1. Empty Parking Lots
This has to be on top; after all, “empty places to practice driving near me” is one of the most searched solutions on the internet search engines by the starters.
Empty parking lots can be found in schools and campuses in the evenings, weekends, or holidays.
As a starter looking for an ideal place to practice your driving skills before the road test, you should focus on places with as minimal disruptions as possible. A spacious, empty parking lot makes a perfect choice because it is, well, empty.
You can make and get away with several driving mistakes while driving in an empty parking lot. You are still polishing your skills and getting familiar with the car controls. Learn how to steer the car, step on the gas, brake, turn and park.
If you have the will, fill some sand in old grocery sacks and make them act as cars so that you learn parallel parking.
Use an empty parking lot to practice driving until you are confident enough to venture into the next level.
2. Crowded Parking Lot
The next level is to see if you can drive through a slightly advanced place like a crowded parking lot. You will find them at the shopping center or mall near you during working hours.
This is the place you should practice parking your car between two vehicles. You need to be more alert and keen as you drive through a crowded parking lot because it is a near-real street scenario. Your mistake can cost you a lot in a crowded parking lot.
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3. Different Road Models or Conditions
Once you have learned to park, make turns, or reverse without creating scenes, it’s now the time to hit the roads.
In your driving career, you will have to contend with different roads, so it is best you get used to some of the common types of roads you will face in the real-road environment.
These include dirt, asphalt, and gravel roads. You can come across these roads in your neighborhood. Find a muddy field and learn to drive on mud, sliding sideways, to get used to the dynamics of driving yourself out of danger if need be
4. Different Weather Conditions
You should also test your level of confidence and keenness by driving through different weather conditions. Drive on wet roads, or drive when it is snowing.
You can also drive in the rain or through a fog. Driving at night, with its visibility challenges, will also give you a new driving experience. You get to learn the value of being extra cautious. If you let distractions take over you at night, you can knock a pedestrian or something.
5. Roads with Varied Speed Limits
In real-world driving, you have to keep changing speed limits depending on the weather, location, traffic level, road condition, among other factors.
You cannot always travel at 25 MPH or 40 MPH. You have to get used to changing the speed limits now and then, hence drive on roads with different speed limits. Start at a slow speed, then move to the next as you progress.
6. Suburban Streets and Rural Highways
You are now at a level you can take on the suburban streets as you continue to practice driving. A suburban street has less traffic, yet it gives you a sense of real-world driving. The streets are also broad, and there are posted speed limits to guide you.
You also get to practice using intersections and lane changing.
If possible, also drive on rural highways. They typically have less traffic, so you are not going to be overwhelmed with other road users.
You can try driving at high speeds or overtaking slower vehicles.
7. The Freeway or Interstate
At some point, you will have to drive on the freeways or interstates; therefore, you might as well take the bull by the horns early in your driving career.
The experience here can be intense, so you only do this once you have mastered the basics, such as driving on varied speed limits, different road types, and weather conditions, among others.
Your first practice on the freeway should be entering and exiting the freeway. Your level of confidence should be much high by the time you practice driving on the freeway so that you can adjust the speed comfortably and get on/off the freeway without panicking.
Where is a Good Place to Practice Driving Near Me?
If you are a starter, you should check the schools and colleges around you as well as the shopping malls. Depending on your expertise, choose to practice during business hours or when these places are closed.
What Do I Need to Practice Driving?
You need your learner’s permit and an experienced driver with a driver’s license to sit next to you, especially in the advanced stages of your practice. If you are in New York, find out how to get a learner’s permit.
You are not immune to accidents just because you are a practicing driver. Many road users would not know that you are on the road to improve your driving skills. Therefore, your wrong moves, like turning on the turn signal by mistake, could result in serious incidents.
For that reason, always remember that your safety starts with you. Do all you can to be safe on the road.
Continue to improve your driving skills even after you have passed your driving test.