For moms, it’s hard to believe that your little baby is ready to start driving; it seems like just yesterday that you had to support them as they took their first steps on foot. For teens, the promise of freedom and increased responsibility couldn’t come soon enough. This momentous transition all begins with passing your learner’s permit test. Here are five steps parents and teens should be aware of as they begin this new phase.
Know the Law
In every state, a learner’s permit allows you to begin driving under the watchful eye of a licensed driver. This is essential to gaining the skills necessary to be granted a driver’s license. However, at what age you’re eligible for a learner’s permit varies from state to state.
For instance, in states like Pennsylvania and Connecticut, you must be 16. In others, such as Florida and Colorado, you can begin at age 15. In places like Iowa, Alaska, and Wyoming, you only need to be 14. Contact your local DMV and learn what the requirements, including age, are in your state.
Ask for Help
Teenagers aren’t always open to advice, but it’s absolutely necessary with important tasks like driving. For the new driver, asking questions about road behavior is key.
For parents, begin calling your child’s attention to what you’re doing on the road. Demonstrate the proper way to use the passing lane, and show them techniques like parallel parking. There are things you do every car ride they don’t notice, so it may be the first time they’re really considering how it’s done.
Expect the Unexpected
What mistakes do young drivers make the most? While a young person studies hard for their test, they should pay particular attention to what questions could be considered the most difficult.
For example, what direction should your wheel be turned when you park on a hill? How does this differ if there’s no curb on the hill? What should you do if an intersection doesn’t have signs or lights? These may not be situations you encounter regularly, but you’ll need to know if you want that permit.
Take Practice Tests
Before you take learner’s permit exam with American Safety Council, study hard and take some practice tests. You can get these locally, although there are many available online for free as well.
Tutorials on YouTube may be helpful for kids who don’t learn best through reading alone. With successful driving, you can’t just recite material; you have to really comprehend the theory.
Don’t Give Up
More than a quarter of all kids fail their learner’s permit test the first time they take it. If this happens to you or your teen, it’s vital that you don’t become discouraged.
Often, you just need a bit more study time. What you shouldn’t do is start predicting that the test-taker is already a “bad driver”.
Getting behind the wheel for the first time can be kind of scary and really exciting all at once. It can also be done safely, with confidence. For the best possible outcomes, begin taking the process of getting a learner’s permit seriously. With a range of study materials, including real-life observation, acing the permit test on the first try is completely within reach.