By: Rio Andreas
For the people who are taking their driving test soon, experience is key. It can be nerve-wracking to get behind the wheel, knowing that every action is over analyzed. But you shouldn’t stress out about it. Hopefully, with some good advice and practice, you will be comfortable, confident and experienced by the time you go in to take your driving test.
If you’re worried or unsure how to gain experience, the solution is simple: drive. Of course, I’m not saying to immediately hop on freeways or try complicated intersections—those are skills you’ll learn later. Simply taking every opportunity to drive, whether it’s to grab milk with your mom at the store or just drive up and down your block, will help build your experience at the driver’s seat. Getting driving hours is also an important requirement to meet before receiving your license, so take any chance to drive you can get.
Though this may unfortunately mean you may have to chauffeur your younger sibling around a few times, just be thankful that your guardian is there to supervise.
Another method to getting more comfortable behind the wheel is creating safe driving habits. Get in the habit of checking the condition of your car, its surroundings and its interior. This habit can bring a sense of calmness along with a sense of familiarity, which are very important during your test.
Another tip is to get help from more experienced drivers (yes, even your parents). Your parents have been driving much longer than you, and they have racked up a lot of experience. Don’t be scared to ask them questions; they’re meant to be some of your mentors through this process. The same goes for your driving instructor you have through your driving school. They have been specially trained to teach you how to drive; it’s literally their job. They’re there to guide you through all the driving actions you’ll have to experience in daily life. Use them as a resource whenever you need advice or clarification regarding the process of driving.
Lastly, another effective method of preparing yourself for your license test and building confidence in your driving skills is just driving around. With no certain destination or idea of where you’re going, you can be exposed to manners and forms of driving that you may need to be used to. A great place you could drive around in is a city; the key part of this all is to not take routes you already know. This adds the added extra of unfamiliarity whilst driving, allowing you to hone your instinct while experiencing new turns, curves, paths, stops and lights. As there is no guarantee that during your driving test your evaluator will have you drive the main roads with which you’re familiar. As well as building your confidence to be able to handle any situation that is thrown your while during your test so that you don’t panic in your seat during your examination.
If you’re feeling daring (and you have the opportunity), try driving different cars to give you that added layer of confidence. Also, don’t forget to practice parallel parking, as unfortunately, most of us weren’t born gifted with that ability. Good luck!