Driver's License and Testing Blog
Read articles from experienced drivers about proper driving procedures and techniques, the rules of the road, insights into testing methods, and tips on how to get your license in no time.
PA DMV Parallel Parking Test Rules
Parallel parking is a requirement to pass the driver’s test. Having a reputation for being one of the most intimidating parts of getting your license, we’d like to help you get comfortable and confident with it. With the right information and training, there’s no need to be anxious!
Knowing what to expect during the PA DMV parallel parking portion of the road test will help you feel prepared and confident on test day. At Driven2Drive, we offer convenient and stress-free license exams at our six third-party testing centers located throughout Greater Philadelphia. Read on to learn more about what’s required to get top marks for your parallel parking when taking our PennDOT-certified exam.
PA DMV Parallel Parking Test Rules
To earn a non-commercial driver’s license in PA, you’ll need to show that you’ve mastered the art of parallel parking safely and successfully. Here are a few key things to know about what the PA DMV parallel parking test involves.
You’ll be tasked with parking in a space that’s eight feet wide by 24 feet long, marked by obstacles such as traffic cones.
If there is a curb, you must park as close to it as possible, but no more than 12 inches away. If it has no curb, you must pull as far off of the roadway as possible.
You may make up to 3 adjustments as you park in the designated spot, but you only have 1 attempt.
To pass, you must not make contact with any obstacles, drive up onto the curb, or cross over the line indicating the edge of the parking area.
Tips on How to Pass the Parallel Parking Test in PA - Space Size, Technique, and More
Stop parallel to the vehicle at the front of the gap, two feet away. Your rear wheel should be in line with that car’s rear bumper.
Indicate and check your mirrors and front windshield for cars, people, or poles.
Assuming you are parking on the right-hand side of the road, turn the steering wheel sharply to the right and reverse slowly.
As your front door passes the back bumper ahead, quickly straighten the wheels and continue to reverse in a straight direction.
When clear of the vehicle ahead, turn the wheel sharply to the left and reverse slowly towards the car behind you.
Turn your wheels sharply to the right and pull toward the center of the parking space.
Parking Aids You Can Use When Parallel Parking
There are several incredibly useful aids for parallel parking. Some of these are tools that can be bought - such as a backup camera, rear-view camera, adjusting mirrors, parking sensors, or self-parking feature. However, remember that these systems are designed to aid the driver - they are not replacements, and your attention and judgment will still be needed to park safely. You are still responsible.
Where Is It Not Allowed to Parallel Park?
Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, unless a licensed driver remains in the vehicle to move it in an emergency.On the roadside of a parked vehicle ("double parking").On a sidewalk or in a crosswalk.In an intersection, unless permitted by signs or a parking meter.On railroad tracks.Within 50 feet of a railroad crossing.Next to or opposite road constructions or other obstructions if your vehicle blocks traffic.Within 30 feet of a pedestrian safety area, unless another distance is marked.On a bridge or in a tunnel.In front of a driveway.Within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection.Within 30 feet of a traffic light, STOP sign, or YIELD sign.Within 20 feet of a fire station driveway, or within 75 feet on the opposite side of the road.Along a curb that is cut, lowered, or made for access to the sidewalk.
Can You Fail Parallel Parking and Still Pass the Test?
If you touch the curb but don't roll over it, you should be fine. You might get some points taken off for not parallel parking correctly or for hitting the curb too forcefully, but if you don't roll over it then you should be fine.
Becoming a Parallel Parking Pro
Driven2Drive is here to help! Our accredited instructors offer a variety of packages to help you hone your skills. Contact us here or call us on 610-664-7400!
Parent Praise for Our Student-Centered Driving Lessons and Testing Services
Everyone was so nice and easy to work with. Ed was an excellent instructor. He gave my daughter the confidence she needed to pass. She said she just slid into the spot on test day. We’ll definitely be back with our next child. (Jennifer M)
Driving practice2 Hour Driving Lessons Near Me For TeenagersDriven2Drive boasts six locations in PA, namely Bala Cynwyd, West Chester, Oaks, Horsham, Brookhaven, and Northeast Philadelphia. Each of these fully licensed driving schools provide the same expert level of service that Driven2Drive is known for. Our patient, certified instructors will build your child's confidence with stick-shift and automatic classes, defensive driving courses, and excellent safety-first procedures.
What 2 Hour Lessons Can New Drivers Take?
A variety of lessons are on offer. Teenagers and parents can choose from our extensive range of packages and will find something suited to every need.
Parent-Supervised Driving Lessons
Our affordable driving school allows parent-supervised driving lessons for guardians who are feeling a little anxious, allowing you to see which areas your child may need more help in and giving you a reminder of the rules too. This allows for a smooth transition from the controlled Driven2Drive environment to your practice sessions on the road.
Patient Driving Instructors
We know how intimidating it can be to drive in front of someone while you're learning, and we want to assure you of our patience. Driven2Drive instructors are committed to making the learning process as easy, constructive, and enjoyable as possible.
Along with several certifications, all our highly-acclaimed instructors have university degrees in general and special education and participate in personal development workshops on an ongoing basis. They are known for being friendly and relatable.
Can Teenagers Take a Defensive Driving Course?
Defensive driving is the best method for safety. As such, it is an integral part of all lessons at Driven2Drive. Statistics show that drivers under the age of 16 are more likely to have accidents. Therefore, it is in their best interest to learn defensive driving skills as soon as possible and as well as possible. We teach defensive driving techniques in a simple, safe understandable way for new motorcyclists and vehicle drivers.
What Each Driving Lesson Offers
Types of Instructors per Request
Whether you're looking to learn how to drive a manual car or take a refresher course on an automatic car, you'll find the specialist you need with us. Caregivers, au pairs, and other professionals who need to drive extra carefully for work may choose to register for one of our occupational driving courses.
Some young drivers may feel more comfortable with female instructors. You can rest assured that we have plenty of excellent women on our team to help you begin your driving journey confidently. We also take pride in our excellent, diverse teams at all of our branches.
Our regular 2-hour driving lesson packages range from $175 (a refresher course on the day of the test) to $350.
Our core curriculum, ranging from $510-$675, includes:
3 one-on-one sessions (2 hours each)Basic safe driving techniquesCertificate of completion for an insurance company discountDay of test service and road test at our facility
Our comprehensive curriculum, which ranges from $915-$1825, will help you become an expert driver with:
5 or more one-on-one sessions (2 hours each)Basic safe driving techniques20 hours behind the wheel30-hour driver’s ed theory class or one manual driving lessonHighway drivingDefensive drivingNight drivingCertificate of completion for an insurance company discountDay of test service and road test at our facility
We also provide a manual transmission short course which includes shorter lessons of 1.5-hour sessions ($195 - $575).
Our occupational driving course, which includes 2-hour driving lessons, ranges from $170-$480.
What to Expect
A calm, focused environment with top-notch facilities, including the use of our chic, new and clean Mini's if you so wishStrict Covid protocols to ensure your health and wellbeingWonderful instructors who have received numerous fantastic reviewsDMV-certified road testing and booking facilities that have proven simpler, faster, and more convenient than DMV officesA range of discounts on car insurance premiums when you or your teenager registers for professional driving lessons under your insurance plan
What You'll Learn
All of our classes cover aspects such as:
The art of accident avoidanceEmergency braking techniquesVehicle checks and maintenanceParallel parking, clutch control, and taking off on hillsDriving on freeways and interchanges vs. driving in suburbs... and much more!
Length of Sessions
Most of our sessions are 2 hours long, with the exception of the 1.5-hour classes in the occupational driving course and the short lesson in the refresher day-of course.
Insurance Discounts for Learner Drivers
There's another reason to register at our fully licensed driving school – saving money. Teenagers who take driving lessons can save money on their insurance or their parents' insurance premiums (if registered under their parents' service providers). Take a look at our comprehensive round-up of insurance discounts for learner drivers for more information. Driving practiceGetting Insurance Discounts Through Driving Lessons in PAEnrolling in driving lessons with a local driving school can offer numerous benefits. One major perk is the opportunity to lower your monthly car insurance payment through driving courses. Driven2Drive, a reputable school with six locations, offers a wide range of courses that fulfill the requirements for driving school insurance discounts in PA. From courses covering basic defensive driving techniques to more advanced packages, we have suitable options for every driver’s needs.
Cost of New Driver Insurance in PA
New drivers in PA may be dismayed by the high cost of driving insurance in PA, which is about $1,203 per year for full coverage. If you pay monthly, full cover costs about $169. Minimum cover is available at $39 per month (or $473 per year). A driving school insurance discount can help, and this varies according to your vehicle, driving experience, and any disabilities. By taking a D2D driving course, you could save on your insurance costs by up to 20%, depending on your service provider, driving history, and how high your deductibles are.
Why Is PA Car Insurance So Expensive?
Statistically, the risk of car accidents in PA is quite high. In 2022, young drivers constitute 3.9% of drivers on the road in the USA and account for 6% of fatal car accidents. Fatal crashes are the 8th leading cause of death globally, and 90% of all motor vehicle crashes stem from user error.
Being out on the road will always have risks, and as a learner or new driver, having vehicle insurance is vital. Lack of confidence when driving can lead to a car accident, costing thousands of dollars in vehicle repairs.
Inexperienced Drivers = Higher Costs
As a teenager or new driver who doesn't have proven experience to show to an insurance company, your rates for insurance coverage are likely to be quite high. Traditionally, the number of years you have been driving counts for a reduction in your insurance fee, but extra driving training helps too.
Take a look at our guide on how to handle accidents with a learner's permit in PA.
By including the Core Curriculum of driver education and defensive driving courses offered at Driven2Drive in your learner driver training, you'll lower your premiums significantly. You'll be killing two birds with one stone—getting an excellent driving course and saving money.
Get Insurance Discounts From Driver Training
There are several ways to lower your car insurance in PA. By completing D2D’s Core Curriculum, students become eligible for a driving lesson insurance discount.
The course includes:
Three one-on-one sessions (2 hours each) with one of our friendly, knowledgeable instructorsHands-on practice of essential driving techniques (making turns, parking, navigating different types of intersections, etc.)Day-of-test service and road testing at any of our locations
Depending on your insurance provider, completing this course is the minimum requirement to receive a car insurance discount. Discounts may vary from person to person or vehicle to vehicle, depending on several factors.
Insurance Discounts Apply to Teenagers and New Drivers
Teenagers and new drivers can receive significant discounts on insurance by taking driver education classes. These can also be improved with higher marks on their written exams and road tests (depending on the driving center). Lower your car insurance in PA with these tips.
Save Percentages on Premiums With Driver Training
You're probably wondering how much money driver’s ed saves on car insurance. This may vary, but we show what a difference driving school car insurance can offer in this example:
20% deduction on $1,203, which is equal to $240Annual payment on full coverage insurance with 20% deduction, which is equal to $963This amount of under $1,000 per year is a good discounted price for full coverage that includes medical expensesA minimum coverage fee may come in at $473 per year, which is equal to $379 with a 20% deduction
Check out our article on driving lessons for teenagers in PA to find the best professional driving schools near you.
Advanced Drivers Qualify for Insurance Deals
Older and more experienced drivers can also receive discounts for taking driving courses! If you're looking for driving lessons that go into further depth, we have several more advanced packages to choose from—including our Comprehensive and Custom Curriculum. These premium packages also include a certificate of completion that can be submitted for insurance savings.
Defensive Driving Courses for Insurance Discounts
Completing a defensive driving course will dramatically improve your safety (and the safety of your passengers) on the road. Simply put, defensive driving teaches you special driving techniques to handle any dangerous situations that may arise on the road with calmness, attentiveness, and focus. Being aware of your surroundings, other drivers, and hazards on the road can go a long way to keeping you safe and preserving your car. Defensive driving helps you anticipate other drivers’ mistakes.
By taking this kind of course, you'll also qualify for insurance deals. An insurance discount for driver's education makes a lot of sense; you've trained to be a better driver, so companies trust that you’re less likely to have an accident than those without this kind of training.
Remember, the younger you are, the higher your car insurance rates will be because of your lack of experience. Therefore, taking the opportunity to lower your costs from the moment you first start driving would be a wise move for new drivers.
Contact us to enroll in a defensive driving course. Driven2Drive is a top-rated professional driving school in Pennsylvania.
Achieve All Your Driving (and Budget!) Goals With Driven2Drive
Whether you are looking for the right driver's education course for you, or you just need to take your PA driving exam, the highly acclaimed Driven2Drive school is here to assist. Give us a call today at (610) 664-7400 or book online and get scheduled promptly for the service you need at your nearest Driven2Drive center.
We look forward to helping you drive safely and proactively while saving money on your car insurance!
Other Tips: Driver Techniques to Further Decrease Insurance Costs
The team of motor industry experts at Driven2Drive advises that there are numerous other ways to lower your monthly insurance cost, too. Here are a few more ideas that may help cut your insurance costs and assist your budget significantly:
Consistently drive well and drive safelyObey the law and refrain from committing any violationsMaintain your vehicle by taking it for its roadworthy services before they are dueKeep your driver's license and registration up to dateIf you have more than one car, you may be eligible for multi-car discountsDrive shorter distances—the further you drive, the more you'll payUse a smaller, hybrid, or alternative fuel vehicleImprove your credit rating Driving practiceStick Shift Driving Lessons in PADo you want to learn how to drive a manual car? While automatic vehicles are more prevalent in the US, many people prefer manual transmission vehicles for work or everyday driving. Furthermore, stick shift driving lessons can boost driver skill and confidence, regardless of age or level of automatic driving experience. Driven2Drive in Pennsylvania highlights the major advantages of taking a stick shift driving course.
Why Learn How to Drive a Manual Vehicle?
For both professional driving roles and daily driving, stick shift vehicles offer extensive benefits, such as:
Increased vehicle control and performance
In a manual car, you have far more control over your vehicle’s speed and handling than when driving an automatic car. This creates a safer, more interactive driving experience that promotes a greater understanding of how the vehicle works. Manual car driving lessons increase beginners' driving confidence. Qualified drivers also build up their driving skills with manual transmission training.A significantly lowered chance of distracted driving
Since operating a stick shift vehicle requires the use of both hands and feet, this way of driving makes it virtually impossible to text while on the road.Boosted fuel efficiency
Driving a stick shift offers the benefit of better fuel economy, which saves you money in the long run.Broaden your horizons
Knowing how to drive a manual car can be useful in an emergency or when renting a car abroad. Driving occupations often prefer candidates who can drive stick shifts. Drive an automatic car with a manual license
There are numerous benefits to stick shift driving, even if your car is automatic, including heightened awareness and increased levels of safety.
What Do You Learn in Stick Shift Driving Lessons?
The most important aspect of learning how to drive a manual car is getting accustomed to using the gears. After a few lessons, you should start feeling comfortable, and, hopefully, it will feel like second nature after a few weeks.
Here are the things that you'll be trained and tested on specifically for a manual driver's license test.
How to Use a Clutch
Downshifting means changing gears from a higher gear (higher number) to a lower gear. Higher gears are used for higher speeds on the freeway, while downshifting can help to slow the car if the brakes fail. For beginners, this is an essential basic skill.
Shifting down in gears can be trickier than shifting up, so our experienced instructors will give you tips to make this process feel easier. This skill will be tested naturally as part of your driving test.
Usually, when a car needs to turn while in motion, it's necessary to downshift shortly before making the turn. If the car is in a gear that is too high for the slower speed needed for a turn, it can result in a grating of the gears, which is harmful to the gearbox and could lose you some points in the driver's license test. The car might stall, or you may lose control of it.
Learning how to manage turns in a manual car is essential to safe driving. While out on your driving test, you'll need to make several turns on the road to show the examiner your level of manual driving skill.
Starting on Hills
The art of clutch control is a huge component of manual driving and comes into play here. In order for the car not to roll backward, the driver must learn how to release the clutch slowly while gradually pressing the accelerator. Finding the right moment to lift your foot off the clutch can be a little challenging at first, but with the help of your manual driving instructor and lots of practice, you'll be starting smoothly on hills in no time.
This is usually part of the yard test and the road test.
Note: Allowing the car to roll backward is an instant fail in the test, so make sure to get enough practice with starting on hills.
Is Learning How to Drive Manual Hard?
While learning to drive a stick shift is a little trickier than an automatic, it's not as hard as many people imagine it to be. This is especially true with the help of an expert driving teacher with years of experience behind them—someone who can show you plenty of ways to make the process easier.
How Long Does It Take To Learn Stick Shift?
It's entirely possible to learn to drive stick shift in as little as two weeks.
Best Ways to Learn Manual Driving
What methods are best?
The following method is a good starting point:
Turn the ignition until the engine starts.Press the clutch pedal down. (This is the pedal on the left.)Put the gear stick into first gear.Use your right foot to press down on the accelerator gently to increase the engine’s revs very slightly.Lift the clutch pedal using your left foot SLOWLY until it starts to vibrate gently.Release the handbrake, and the car should start to move slowly.Increase the revs while slowly raising your foot off the clutch until you are moving forward with only the accelerator pedal.
You will need the guidance of a professional driving instructor and plenty of practice with a license holder you trust.
What cars are best to learn stick shift in?
There are many cars that work well for beginner drivers. The manual Mini Cooper, which is supplied on request at Driven2Drive, is an excellent choice. Some of our other top choices include:
2022 Honda Civic Si Mk6 Ford FiestaJeep Wrangler TJToyota Corolla Hyundai Veloster NVolkswagen GTIBMW M3 and M4
Where Can I Start Driving Lessons With D2D?
Driven2Drive has driving schools all over Pennsylvania, for example, in the town of Wayne or areas like Chester County, Upper Darby, and Montgomery County, all in PA. You can also learn to drive stick shift with Driven2Drive in the Greater Philly area.
Why Choose Us?
Whether you’re new to driving or simply want to add stick shift driving to your skillset, our certified instructors at Driven2Drive will teach you everything you need to know. We recommend that all of our students—particularly teens—learn how to operate a manual transmission vehicle to help them form lasting, safe driving habits.
Ready to feel empowered to drive a stick shift? Head over to our website or give us a call at 610-664-7400 to learn more about our manual transmission training courses and book manual driving lessons. Learn to drive a manual transmission car now and see for yourself why we rank as the #1 driving school in PA! Driving practiceSudden Vertigo While Driving—Understanding the Causes and Overcoming DizzinessWe all want to have a stress-free experience while driving, but unexpected physical reactions in your body may make good driving difficult. For example, experiencing an attack of vertigo may make you feel like a shipwreck victim, clinging onto the wheel! You may have a sense of falling, dizziness and nausea, intense driving anxiety, or becoming visually disoriented by the rush of moving vehicles or scenery flashing past.
Try to deal with these sudden changes and dizziness while driving in an immediate and practical way because it's risky to keep driving in this situation. There are ways to cope until you can pull over safely or get back to normal. However, if you're having a panic attack, stop driving as soon as possible until you've recovered.
Causes of Sudden Vertigo While Driving
Reasons for a sudden vertigo attack may include general anxiety, for example, about being a new driver, driving alone, or driving fast on a highway. As an experienced driver, you may become anxious about adverse conditions, such as driving in rain or driving in snow.
Driving Vertigo Triggers
Specific triggers to driving anxiety may include:
Being stuck in a traffic jamCrossing a bridgeDriving in the darkGoing through tunnels
Your anxiety might be a specific phobia, or a dangerous situation involving aggression from another driver could make you so anxious that you have a panic attack; in these cases, get help from a psychologist or psychiatrist to deal with your high level of anxiety.
If you get visually distracted by something moving faster or differently from the movement of your vehicle, this can bring on vertigo; or, repeated attacks of vertigo might be a symptom of Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD), meaning your eyes struggle to focus together and must make repeated re-focusing movements. This can strain the eyes, leading to fatigue, headaches, migraines and blurred vision, as well as vertigo. Get your eyes tested for BVD if that sounds like your experience.
Your own physical wellbeing, or heightened anxiety while driving, can bring on vertigo. Your own levels of stress, perhaps overstimulation from caffeine or loud music or hours of stress at work, all interfere with your focus on the road and generate tension and anxiety. You may have neglected to check your blind spot while driving, and get a fright when a car suddenly overtakes you. Distractions like these can trigger sudden dizziness or nausea.
How to Overcome Dizziness from Vertigo While Driving
The best start to dealing with vertigo would be to avoid it—tackle your anxiety at its source. To deal with driving anxiety, first consolidate your driving skills by learning some defensive driving techniques. Any licensed driver can benefit from this additional driving training. Then consider some practical, soothing activities to defuse your anxiety while you drive, like slow, regular breathing, turning on the aircon to cool down, and playing some soft soothing music.
However, when you have an attack of vertigo, it's an emergency that needs immediate resolution, for the sake of safe driving. Distracted driving is dangerous to yourself and others. A migraine with its blurry vision and sensitivity to light, or a panic attack with vomiting, will render you a disabled driver. Treat the problem of a sudden attack of vertigo seriously, follow these steps:
Stop the car and lie down on the back seat to recover. Then, if you feel you can't continue driving, call a friend to bring an extra driver to get you home. Get informed about treatment for vertigo; some self-managed care can relieve it (if it's not caused by a medical syndrome).For repeated incidents of vertigo, get tested by a neuro-visual specialist in case you have BDV or vertical heterophoria.Get treatment for your anxiety from a psychiatrist or psychologist.
You may be able to remedy your vertigo by attending to the driver—yourself—as the most important part of any driving experience. All the best defensive driving skills are no use if you're at risk of a sudden attack of vertigo while driving. Take care out there! Driving practiceWays to Prevent Knee Pain While DrivingSome drivers are surprised that driving can cause knee pain. Sitting and driving your car can be stressful on your joints, especially on a long trip or when you're moving slowly in stop-start traffic, which is why truck drivers also tend to complain of severe knee pain. Pain can be dangerous as it is distracting, affecting your safe driving and ability to focus on the road.
Additionally, your knee could become too painful to move correctly, preventing you from operating the clutch, brake, and accelerator pedals effectively. In this discussion, we describe some ways to adjust your body and your car seat to avoid knee pain while driving.
Causes of Knee Pain While Driving
The two main causes of pain in your knees while driving are poor posture and spending too much time sitting with limited mobility.
Driving long distances can restrict your movement and cause repetitive strain injuries in the knee joints. Driving in adverse conditions like rain or snow, or in the dark, may tense up your whole body and require more foot pressure and small repeated movements. If you're tall and have long legs, you may be sitting with one leg splayed to the side, straining the knee joint while you rest the foot off the clutch pedal.
Ways to Deal With Knee Pain While Driving
First, align your body correctly in the car so that you are seated comfortably. When your hips are not aligned with your knees, this sets up hip pain and also increases the strain on the knees while operating the pedals.
The car seat should be horizontal so that your knee is not higher than your hip to prevent hip pain from developing. But, this foundation of a horizontal seat also allows you to position your lower legs and rest your feet on the pedals comfortably. The lower legs should be at an angle of not more than 20 to 30 degrees from the knee, and the backs of the knees should also be clear of the edge of the car seat so that they can move freely.
Exercises to Strengthen Your Knees
Several exercises can be done to strengthen the knee joint and make it easier to deal with knee pain:
Bend down to touch your toes, holding the stretch for ten seconds a few times per day.Do quad stretches, first from a standing position, then from a lower bent-knee position.Stretch the calf with a kneeling calf stretch, like a lunge.Squat as low as possible, holding your body weight in position for up to ten seconds.
How to Change Your Seat to Avoid Knee Pain
The second way to deal with knee pain while driving is to adjust your car seat before you start. Raise the seat so that your knees are in line with your hips, not higher than your hips.
The bottom of the seat should be horizontal. If it has a sloping structure, then add a cushion to provide a level surface to sit on, as this will affect the way you use the pedals. When seated, your feet should be parallel to your knees so that your heels are resting on the floor. Your feet should reach the pedals so that you use the balls of your feet to press them.
Ways to Prevent Knee Pain From Occurring in the Future
Make the correct movements with your feet to avoid straining your knees. The right foot should be able to move easily between the accelerator and brake pedal, and the left foot should be resting beneath the clutch pedal, not splayed to the side.
When learning automatic car driving, this support pedal for the foot is a useful resting spot. The heel of the foot then rests a little way in front of the brake pedal. When your feet are aligned parallel to your knees, they should rest easily on the pedals. To accelerate, simply move the angle of your foot down to increase pressure on the accelerator.
Being a New Driver With Knee Pain
When you're a new driver, you can benefit from tips for new drivers. Rather than simply accepting knee pain, you should attend to your body's comfort and alignment. If you place your body correctly and start a habit of good posture in the driver's seat, you may avoid knee pain in the future. Getting used to long trips or stop-start traffic shouldn't mean knee pain. Review your previous simple driving lessons and consider taking a course in defensive driving to ensure that you follow the correct maneuvers.
If you still have persistent knee pain, consult your doctor. Driving practiceBe a Confident First-Time Driver With These 6 Expert TipsDriving alone for the first time is difficult and can be taxing on your confidence. Getting out in your car alone is part of building your competence as a newly licensed driver. Repeating a few more simple driving lessons may be helpful in overcoming driving anxiety.
Fear of driving alone, also called autophobia, stems from feeling unconfident, or perhaps being afraid of other fast-moving vehicles going by. It may feel scary to be controlling your vehicle on your own for the first time on the open road, but if you apply the practical tips for new drivers described here, you will gradually manage it better. Eventually, you'll find yourself driving safely automatically, responding well to the road and the environment.
Tip 1: Take a Defensive Driving Course
First, you could brush up on your basic driving skills by attending a defensive driving course.
Using defensive driving techniques will make you a smarter driver in dangerous situations caused by other drivers, or by hazards on the road, like rocks falling from an embankment. You will learn to control your speed and keep a safe following distance.
Tip 2: Confront Your Fear and Ask For Help
Deal with your anxiety by recognizing what you're experiencing and asking for help from other experienced drivers or supportive friends who can check on your safe arrival after a drive. Set small manageable goals for yourself each week, starting with driving practice in areas you know well. You could tackle shorter distances and drive on quieter roads, to give yourself the opportunity to have an uneventful drive on your own, to generate a feeling of success. Build up positive experiences of driving alone, then try a new goal of driving alone in a different neighborhood, or in a shopping district where there's some traffic.
Tip 3: Stick to Daytime Driving at First
Night-time driving is a challenge because it's hard to see other vehicles in the dark and to judge their speed and distance. Even experienced drivers are stressed by driving in the dark. In bad weather conditions where visibility is poor, like driving in snow or in the rain, it might also be difficult to hold the car on the road or judge what speed is safest.
As a new driver, try to limit these experiences until you are generally more confident behind the wheel. Driving in hot weather can also cut your concentration; make an effort to keep yourself cool, by using the air-conditioning or opening the windows and occasionally stopping to drink water.
Tip 4: After an Accident, Get Back to Driving
Any accident is traumatic and takes time to recover from. But don't stop driving; get back behind the wheel as soon as you can. Your confidence will return, and your driving skills will continue to build up.
Tip 5: Adapt Your Behavior to Cope With Fear of Highways
Driving on a highway may be very overstimulating with cars rushing by at high speed, and having to notice signs for off-ramps and detours that can lead to distracted driving. Practice driving on minor highways or in country areas that are less busy before you venture onto busy highways.
Tip 6: Calm Yourself With Relaxing Music
Music while driving can help soothe and relax you. It's important to keep the volume low to avoid blocking out sounds of other cars on the road, or sounds of traffic slowing and accelerating. These are important auditory clues that help you orient to the other cars around you and the flow of traffic. If you are highly stressed at work, getting into a car and driving simply transfers the stress to your driving behavior. It's better, and safer, to de-stress with a bit of quiet music.
How Long Does It Take To Gain Confidence When Driving by Yourself?
It's going to take about six months of regular driving by yourself, to establish confidence in your driving skills and your ability to drive in any setting, in the dark, in the rain, or on a busy highway. By gradually exposing yourself to new driving areas and new contexts for driving, you can steadily increase your own skills. Use the practical tips to help yourself develop into a skillful and confident driver. Driving practiceDriving With Migraines—Safety, Risks, and Best Home TreatmentsMigraines are not, as some people believe, simply extreme headaches. While pain in the head—usually on one side—is a large part of the problem, a migraine is often accompanied by several other symptoms. The throbbing pain can extend to the whole head, and sometimes even to the neck and face. Additional symptoms include:
NauseaVomitingTinglingNumbnessSensitivity to sound and lightBrain fogDifficulty speaking
Continue reading to learn about the different types of migraines and their implications on driving safety.
Types of Migraines
Migraines can be episodic (occurring in episodes, usually brought on by a trigger such as a certain food, smell, stress, etc.) or chronic (taking place regularly).
Migraines can also be classified into three groups:
Migraine without aura
As described above.Migraine with aura
As described above, with a visual or sensory disruption that often precedes the pain attack. The aura may include floating spots, colored lights, blind spots, zig-zagging lines, shimmering lights or stars, or other visual disturbances in both eyes.Ocular or retinal migraine
As described above, plus visual disturbances and potential temporary blindness in one eye. If untreated, there may be some permanent vision damage.
Can the Act of Driving Trigger a Migraine?
While it's not common for driving itself to trigger a migraine, certain stimuli that accompany the act of driving can bring one on, including the following:
Bright lightsLoud soundsStressful situations like aggressive drivers and road rageTension in the back or neck
Additionally, some drivers (or passengers) experience migraines as a symptom of motion sickness.
Is It Safe to Drive With a Migraine?
Ocular migraines, which may include blindness in one eye, create a very dangerous condition in which to drive.
The symptoms that accompany other types of migraines are very distracting for a driver, too. Someone experiencing pain, nausea, and brain fog should not be driving as focus and response time will be impaired, thus creating a dangerous situation for the driver, passengers, and others on the road due to increased risk of distracted driving.
How to Prevent Migraines While Driving
People who suffer from migraines can tell you that there are certain things you can do to help prevent them, but that they are often beyond your control. Lifestyle habits such as the following can go some way in prevention:
Find out what your triggers are, and try to avoid themGet plenty of sleep and rest Follow a healthy diet Avoid stress and anxiety while drivingAvoid smokingLimit caffeine intakeGet regular exercise, but don't overdo itBe aware of, or avoid, bright lights and harsh sounds Don't change temperature environments suddenlyRemember to take your medication on time
Are You Allowed to Drive With a Migraine?
Yes, it is legal in all states. However, if you have another medical condition such as insulin-dependent diabetes or seizures from epilepsy (both of which are sometimes accompanied by a predisposition to migraines), this may not be the case. You will need to consult your doctor, who will determine the severity of your case and write a report for the DMV, allowing all driving, driving with certain restrictions, or no driving.
What to Do When a Migraine Occurs While Driving
Unfortunately, it is difficult to stop a migraine in its tracks. You may be able to get away from a specific bright light, sound, or other stimuli, which may help to ease it off before it begins properly. Otherwise, when you feel a migraine coming on while driving, you should pull over and take some medication before arranging for a friend or loved one to meet you and drive you home. It's also important to keep using defensive driving techniques while you are still operating your vehicle and while you get off the road. This is especially vital if you're also stuck in a potentially dangerous environment such as bad weather (our expert tips for driving in the rain should help here). Remember, medication also impairs concentration and driving ability. Stay safe!
If you're new to the road, make sure to take a look at our round-up of tips for new drivers, and register for simple driving lessons with one of our patient, knowledgeable instructors. Driving practiceLearning to Drive: How Long Does It take? Every learner driver wants to drive confidently, become a licensed driver, and get out on the road as soon as possible. How long it takes will depend on how much you are willing to practice. It's important to practice enough to manage the car on the road confidently and safely. Choosing to learn in an automatic could shorten your practice time. Learning to drive a manual (stick shift) vehicle takes more time because you have to learn to manage the gears. It may be wiser to invest the extra time learning to drive stick shift if you want to use your driver's license more flexibly to drive other cars overseas.
How Long Does It Take to Learn to Drive Using Manual Transmission?
Once you have your learner's permit and can get out to practice driving, you will be accompanied by a professional tutor at Driven2Drive. It is worthwhile to opt for lessons in a manual transmission vehicle. Learning to control the gears brings a whole extra skill to your driving ability. Learning to drive manual vehicles is a skill that can be transferred to driving other vehicles and driving overseas. In overseas countries, a license for an automatic might not be acceptable. Other benefits of learning to drive stick shift include better driving skills and handling of a car and the possibility of work opportunities as a driver.
Learning to drive stick shift will take longer because it takes more practice. Each gear shift must be done smoothly without stalling the car, overusing the clutch, or scraping the gears. It will probably take up to 20 days of daily practice for at least an hour each day. Driven2Drive recommends that every learner should begin by learning manual driving skills as a fundamental competence that can be applied to other cars and situations. This competence makes you a better, safer driver.
How Long Does It Take to Learn to Drive Using Automatic Transmission?
Learning to drive an automatic transmission vehicle is easier and quicker than learning to drive stick shift. Becoming competent may take less than 20 days, but it still takes skill and practice. Many new cars feature automatic gears, which are simple and limited. However, driving the car skillfully means learning to use these automatic gears in all situations, including traffic, busy intersections, and pulling off on a hill. You will still need professional guidance from an instructor to establish the best safe driving habits.
Ready to arrange some driving lessons in a stick shift vehicle? Prefer to cruise in an automatic transmission car? Either way, you will need time to master driving before getting tested. Call Driven2Drive at 610 664 7400 to book a lesson two working days from now! Driving practiceThree-Point Turns: Your How-to GuideWhen a road isn't wide enough to make a U-turn, a three-point turn is the standard way to turn around. This method is tested in all driving exams and is an essential maneuver for all drivers. You'll need to be able to drive forwards and backward, and know how to use all your mirrors and blind spots.
Before practicing a three-point turn as a beginner driver, try to find a space where the ground is even, and where you can see for about 164 feet in both directions. Quiet or empty parking lots can also work well as a safe location.
We've compiled a step-by-step guide to performing this move so that you know what you're doing when you practice, and so that you can ace this part of your test.
Performing a Three-Point Turn Step-By-Step
1. Pull over 30 centimeters away from the curb, in a place where you can see oncoming traffic from both directions.
2. Indicate right for three seconds or more.
3. Check your rear-view mirror, side mirror, and blind spot on your right-hand side.
4. Turn your wheel fully to the right.
5. Check your surroundings again for cars and pedestrians.
5. Move forward to the right.
6. Turn your wheel completely to the left.
7. Complete all checks again, in both directions.
8. Indicate to the left.
9. Turn your wheel completely to the left.
10. Check your surroundings again.
11. Reverse to the left slowly.
12. You should now be facing in the opposite direction from where you started. Check your surroundings once more before moving off again.
Things to Remember During a Three-Point Turn
Remember, three-point turns should be avoided where possible, as they take up a lot of road space - they travel over both lanes, meaning they may briefly obscure oncoming traffic.
In real-life situations while on the road, utilize a u-turn where the road is wide enough to do so, as this is quicker than a three-point turn.
Turning in the manner of a three-point-turn may actually require more than three turns, making it take even longer (and then having more chance of encountering traffic as time passes).
If traffic begins to approach slowly while you're completing the turn, don't rush - doing the turn carefully and step by step while doing numerous checks is essential to the safety of your loved ones and others on the roads. Drivers should be patient and understanding, and if they aren't, don't let them bother you!
When performing a three-point turn during your driving test, make sure that you complete all the checks according to the official defensive driving techniques.
If you happen to be on the over-confident side of things, remember not to let your guard down with procedures that seem to be more simple than parallel parking, such as three-point turns or reverse parking.
PS: If you struggle with parallel parking, make sure to take a look at the articles below:
Parallel parking test rules
How to parallel park
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