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Preparing for a Drivers License Test: 7 Tips For Your Teenage Driver

Getting a driver's license is an important, and sometimes nerve-racking, rite of passage. Your teen is likely exited about getting behind the wheel. It's common to also experience some anxiety about taking the drivers license test. As with any type of test, preparation is key. To help your novice driver feel prepared and confident on test day, share the following tips with her:

Practice the Written Test

While it's impossible to know the exact questions that will be on the written part of the drivers license test, your teenager can still get a good feel for the types of questions that are likely to be on the test. The DMV website has a variety of online practice tests available. Encouraging your new driver to take a practice test in advance will help him feel more confident.

Be Mindful of Traffic Signs

When it's time for the driving part of the license test, there are several tips your teenager should keep in mind. First, she should be mindful of all traffic signs. The examiner will watch to see if she notices and understands the meaning of basic traffic signs. She will need to be observant while driving. What signs should she be on the lookout for? Stop signs and other regulatory signs are of course important. Additionally, make sure she notices yellow warning signs indicating a school zone or curve.

Pay Attention to the Speed Limit

This sounds like a tip that should go without saying, but it's important to stress to your teenager the importance of maintaining an appropriate speed limit during the driving part of the test. This means that he doesn't want to go too fast, of course, but he should also be mindful that he's not driving too slow. If he doesn't see a speed limit sign, tell him not to panic. Instead, tell him to drive the safe and appropriate speed for the area and conditions. For example, residential roads usually have a speed limit of 25 mph. Whereas, non-residential roads often have a speed limit of 55 mph.

Don't Follow Too Close

New drivers have a tendency to focus the majority of their attention on their surroundings while watching for speed limit and other traffic signs that they often follow too close to other drivers. The examiner will be watching to ensure that she leaves an appropriate following distance. A good rule of thumb is to leave three to four car lengths between her car and the car in front of her. Make sure she always leaves enough room to allow for safe braking if the car in front of her stops without warning.

Be Careful When Braking

Tell your teenage driver to start the braking process several seconds before he needs to come to a complete stop. This will help him avoid the need to slam on the brakes-- something the examiner might mark him down for. Tell your new driver that braking should begin with decelerating. Then, brakes should help the vehicle come to a smooth stop.

Stay in the Right Lane

Remind your teenager that, in general, the left lane should be for passing. Thus, she should stay in the right lane as much as possible during her road test. If she needs to use the left lane to make a turn, tell her to switch lanes in advance to avoid a last-minute lane change.

Remain Calm

Above all, stress to your teenager the importance of remaining calm during his road test. Panicking will only lead to careless mistakes. Remind him to take deep breaths, be aware of his surroundings, and have confidence. With all his practice and preparation, he will be a licensed driver in no time!

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