Dear Future Driver,
I was probably like you, sixteen years old and about three months, and after hours of other people asking me “When can you drive?” I took my permit test last October and passed on the first try. After months of procrastination and conquering my fears of driving, I finally gained the courage to drive. From a newly licensed driver, I have written this guide to give some advice and tips I learned to conquer this fear and begin driving.
- Enroll in a driver’s education program while here at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School (BSCHS) or at a driving school. Here, you will learn material that could appear on your test to earn your Learner’s Permit. After earning credit for the class, take practice tests online to prepare for the Permit test. One useful site for these practice tests I used was https://driving-tests.org/virginia/ . Barbara Green, Driver’s Education teacher here at BSCHS, strongly emphasized to “read the book” if you want to pass.
- After (hopefully) passing the test, and earning your Learner’s Permit, practice driving in a parking lot that has little to no cars. While there, practice using your turn signals, parking, adjusting the mirrors and seat, turning on your headlights, accelerating, and stopping. After a month, or when you and your parent(s) feel comfortable, drive around your neighborhood. When driving around your neighborhood, practice what you did in the parking lot.
- Once again, after gaining your parents’ approval, drive on city roads. While here, never forget what you learned because when on the “real” roads, one simple mistake can lead to an accident or even death.
- After adjusting to driving on the roads, if you haven’t already done so, begin observing how your parent or any other driver drives on the interstate. “Do the speed limit, stay in the right lane, and you won’t get run over,” advises Mrs. Green. Once again, never forget what you learned before, because there can be serious consequences for your mistakes on the roads and interstate.
- After learning the rules of the road, you can sign up to drive with Mrs. Green. “One month before you get your license,” said Mrs. Green. Or as I did, drive with another company, as Mrs. Green is usually booked far in advance. “March, April, and May are the busiest months to drive with me,” said Mrs. Green. Should you choose not to do In-Car here at BSCHS, make sure to pick up a green card from her, which mentions you have completed Driver’s Education at your school and you have permission to drive with an instructor outside of school.
- If you pass In-Car with your instructor or Mrs. Green, you will gain a temporary license before receiving your official license in a couple of months in court.
Good luck future driver, and be safe when you are driving!