I know that getting your driver’s permit is an exciting time! You’ve waited a long time for this, but before you start the engine and put your hands at 10 and 2, I need to tell you my rules for new drivers learning to drive.
Learning to Drive: 8 Rules for a New Driver
1. Take the driving class seriously.
You may think you can get away with doing as little as possible and still pass your driving class, but please take it seriously. If you don’t pay attention in driving class, you won’t do well when you’re driving on the road. Remember that everything you learn in your driving class is applicable to what you do on that road.
2. Obey the law.
Don’t be tempted to bend the rules of the road once you gain some confidence in your driving skills. Breaking the driving laws has consequences. You not only risk getting a ticket that will hurt your driving record and bank account, but you could kill someone, including yourself.
3. Don’t touch your phone. Ever.
You will be tempted to answer a call or read a text when you are behind the wheel, especially once you’re comfortable and confident with your driving abilities. But using your phone could put yourself or others at risk for an accident. Put your phone out of reach until you’re parked!
4. Never drive when you’re impaired by alcohol or drugs.
If you have had anything in your system, you cannot and should not operate a motor vehicle. Please don’t fool yourself into thinking, “I’m fine. I can drive this short distance home.” No, you can’t.
5. Don’t let yourself be distracted by loud music.
It’s fun and motivating to turn up the music while you’re driving, but loud music can keep you from hearing horns, sirens, or other sounds you need to hear when you’re driving. Enjoy you music, but turn it down so you can be safe.
6. Keep conversation to a minimum.
Speaking of distractions, don’t let conversation in the car distract you from the road. Driving takes your full attention in order to stay safe. Keep the talking to a minimum and if your friends get too loud, ask them to keep it down while you drive.
7. Keep your eyes on the road.
Yes, you need to focus on the road ahead of you, but you should also be scanning your side views and rear view too. Sometimes the most likely road hazard is to the side or behind you, so you need to be mindful of potential risks and able to respond quickly. Make it a habit to be aware of what is going on all around your car as you drive.
8. Respect the privilege of being able to drive.
Learning how to drive is a privilege and an immense responsibility. Don’t take it for granted and don’t dismiss its value. Drive responsibly as if your life depended on it—because it does.