10 Common Bad Habits Drivers Have and How to Correct Them


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10 Common Bad Habits Drivers Have and How to Correct Them | 911 Driving School

Drivers of all ages and experience levels make mistakes while they drive. It never hurts to have a little reminder about ways you can improve your skills, especially when it comes to driving a car. Since a vehicle can cause so much damage, it is important to drive carefully. Some of the most common bad habits drivers develop are easy to correct, making the roads safer for everyone. Here are ten examples.

1. Not using a turn signal

The purpose of the turn signal is to let drivers and pedestrians around you know what your intentions are switching lanes, at an intersection, or in a parking lot. When drivers neglect to use their signal, they risk causing a collision or dangerous situation for a pedestrian. The best way to correct this problem is to get in the habit of using your signals.

2. Right of Way Errors

When approaching an intersection, it is very important to know which vehicle has the right of way. Unfortunately, not enough drivers remember the rules. Even if you know that you have the right of way though, it is important to still watch the other drivers. If another driver thinks they have the right of way and proceeds into the intersection, it is better to yield and stay alive than to crash and risk injury.

3. Observing signs

There are many signs along the road that help alert drivers to dangers, keep everyone informed on speed limits, upcoming turns, road conditions, and more. Paying attention and following the road signs, it can help keep you and the other drivers around you safe.

4. Turning errors

If a driver starts turning at the wrong spot or misses their turn, too many times they sit and wait to get back into traffic or block the driving lane to wait for an opening in the turn lane for them to fit in. If you realize you are in a turning lane and realize you shouldn’t be, just turn. It is better to get turned around than risk pulling back into traffic and holding up the line behind you. If you realize you missed the chance to get in the correct turning lane, turn at the next opportunity instead and come back. Do not block traffic. It is not just rude; it can cause a crash with multiple cars.

5. Parallel parking

One of the most dreaded driving test skills, the art of parallel parking evades many drivers. To correct this problem, practice is required. Pull up alongside the car that will be in front of your parked car, lining up your rear bumpers and leaving two feet between your cars. Turn your wheel and reverse into the parking space until your front passenger door lines up with the other car’s bumper. Quickly turn your wheel the other way and glide your car into the spot. Straighten out before exiting the car.

6. Illegal maneuvers

Many drivers don’t notice the maneuvers they do are illegal and put others in danger. Make sure that you stop at all stop signs and red lights, only make U-turns in authorized areas, and park in marked areas only.

7. Driving under the influence

Never operate a car under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Play it safe by reading all the directions on medications you are taking so you know if it will impair your motor skills. If you have been drinking at a party, do not over-estimate your abilities and try to drive.

8. Driving drowsy

Another danger is operating a vehicle when drowsy. Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving because abilities and judgement is impaired. Falling asleep at the wheel is dangerous for the driver, the passengers in the vehicle, and others on the road. If you are tired, switch drivers or pull off the road to rest.

9. Not having a driver’s license with you

Everyone who drives a car is required to carry their driver’s license with them in the car. If you are a student driver, having your practice permit is also required. Many drivers do not take this seriously enough and drive a car without their license. Always keep proper documentation, like proof of insurance and car registration information, in your vehicle when driving.

10. Distracted Driving

The number one bad habit drivers have is driving distracted. Whether it is a cell phone, picking up cargo that has fallen on the ground, or talking to passengers, it is vital to pay attention to the road in front of you. Correct this problem by remembering what is most important. If you need to pick something up, make a phone call, send a text, or deal with passengers, pull to the side of the road and out of traffic.

Most new drivers are nervous and usually try to remember to do everything correctly. Once drivers become more comfortable behind the wheel, they overestimate their abilities. It is important to always stay vigilant and avoid picking up bad habits. Remember your defensive driving skills that you learned during your driving lessons. You just never know; it might save your life.

5 Things to Do Now That You Passed Your Driving Test


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5 Things to do Now That You Passed Your Driving Test | 911 Driving SchoolPassing your driving test after all the hours of studying, driving, and preparing for this day is a wonderful feeling. There is a lot of work involved in getting to this point, so it’s appropriate that you celebrate. Now you might be wondering what you should do after you pass the test. Here are five things to get you started.

1. Get Proper Documentation

Receiving your license is just the first item you need to operate a moving vehicle. Most states require that drivers have car insurance. This helps cover you financially if you get into a crash. Not every state requires that you have insurance when you have a learner’s or practice permit, so make sure you have the proper coverage before driving on your own. Also, keep a copy of your policy in your glove box for if you ever need to provide proof of insurance.

2. Buy a Car

If you are fortunate enough to buy your own car, doing it for the first time can seem overwhelming. Pay attention to if it is automatic or manual, how many miles it has, and what works or doesn’t. Take it to a third-party mechanic for an inspection to make sure it is a dependable car. Consider buying a used car to help decrease the stress you will feel driving around alone for the first year or two. Once you bring it home, buy some fun accessories to personalize it.

3. Be Prepared

Now that you have your license, you should be responsible. Part of that is being prepared for many of the common problems drivers experience. Keep a spare tire and tools in the car and know how to use them if you need to change one of your tires. Consider keeping an emergency kit in the trunk with basic medical supplies, water, and a snack. Buy a car charger to keep in your middle console for if you get lost or stranded and have a low battery. If it is wintertime, keep a blanket somewhere in the car too. While you can’t possibly prepare for every scenario, being ready for some common problems will save you in a pinch.

4. Take Precautions

If you are nervous driving without an experienced driver in the passenger seat, you’re not alone. There are plenty of stickers available for purchase online that you can stick on your bumper to let other drivers know you are new. This helps others have patience with you and give you a little more space on the road.

5. Spread the Word

No matter what age you are when you get your first drivers license, be proud. Spread the good news by posting on social media. This will let your friends and family celebrate the big moment with you.

Now that you have completed your online driver’s ed classes, taken your driving lessons, practiced many hours on the road, and passed the final test, you are going to have a lot of time on your hands. Whether you take a road trip or just enjoy taking yourself where you need to go, it is nice to have more freedom. Congratulations on this big step in your life.

The Process of Getting Your Driver’s License


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The Process of Getting Your Drivers License | 911 Driving SchoolThe process for getting a driver’s license has a lot of common ground between states. However, there are slight differences for each state. It can all be confusing if you are going through the process with your teen driver for the first time. Here is a quick overview of the different processes each state has in common and how they are different.

Finding Common Ground

While a guide for each state would be very long, here is what Washington, California, Colorado, Ohio, South Carolina, and Florida all have in common.

  • Must be at least 16 years old
  • Before licensing, teens must have a learning permit that has limited use to practice with a licensed parent, guardian, or approved adult in the passenger seat.
  • Pass a vision screening
  • Permission from parents or legal guardians
  • Provide documentation with birth certificate, social security number, and residency in the state
  • Complete a teen drivers education course
  • Pass a written exam of the laws from an approved location
  • Pass a driving test at an official location
  • Have a photo taken and pay licensing fees
  • Stipulations on driving conditions during the first 6-12 months of licensing

These provide a great foundation for each state to build off. Here are some of the differences each of these states have added to their licensing processes.

Washington

Permit drivers must complete at least 40 hours of daylight, including 10 hours of night driving with someone who’s been licensed for 5 years or more. To get a license, the person cannot have been convicted of any traffic violations within 6 months of applying or alcohol or drug offenses while holding an instruction permit. Licensing is also available online for new drivers.

Stipulations: Under 18 gets an intermediate driver license. First 6 months, no passengers under 20 except immediate family members. Next 6 months. No more than 3 passengers under 20 who aren’t immediate family. Nighttime driving not allowed between 1 and 5 am unless with a driver 25+. Only exceptions, agricultural purposes and transporting for farm products or supplies. No cell phones while driving, even hands-free except in an emergency.

California

Signatures by all parent(s)/guardians(s) with custody are required to get a permit and a license. All these signatures are also required to verify that the new driver completed 50 hours of practice driving with 10 hours being at night. To get a driver’s license, the individual must be at least 16 and have had their permit at least 6 months.

Restrictions: During the first year, there is no driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., drive with any passengers under 20 years old unless they are immediate family members or a licensed adult 25 years old or older is in the car. Exceptions can be made for work, school, or medical reasons with an official signed form. Drivers under 18 years old may not use cellphones or wireless devices while driving, even if it is hands-free.

Colorado

To get a driver’s permit, it is required to take a 30-hour drivers education class. If the student is 15 years and 6 months, they may opt for a 4 hours driver awareness class instead.  Drivers under 18 years old must have a permit for at least 12 months and be 16 years old before taking their licensing test. Driving logs must be submitted with a required 6 hours behind the wheel with an instructor.

Restrictions: No passengers under 21 for first 6 months and only one passenger under 21 at a time for the next 6 months unless they are an immediate family member or a licensed adult over 21 years old is in the car too. Exceptions are made for medical emergencies. Everyone in the vehicle must also wear their own seat belt. Driving between midnight and 5 a.m. is now allowed the first year unless an adult is in the car or it is to work or school with a signed and dated form.

Ohio

Before getting a license, the applicant must complete 50 hours of driving with 10 of those hours at night. To drive with a permit, anyone under 16 may only drive with a parent or legal guardian. Once the driver is 16, they may also complete their practice hours with any licensed driver 21 years of age or older in the passenger seat.  Driver’s education courses must be 24 hours classroom or online instruction and 8 hours of driving time. If there are any traffic offenses during the first 6 months of driving, a parent must always ride in the passenger seat for 6 months or until the driver reaches 17 years of age.

Restrictions: During the first 12 months, no driving between 12-6 am unless with a parent or if it is for work or school with documentation. There is also no driving with more than one non-family without a parent or legal guardian in the car. After the first 12 months of licensing, no driving between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. with the same exceptions. No phones or mobile devices are allowed for use. Multiple traffic convictions before 18 may equal suspension and any involving alcohol means a 6-month suspension.

South Carolina

All new drivers require having a permit for 180 full days before applying for a license. Each must complete 40 hours of driving with 10 at night. Practice must be done with a driver age 21 or older with one-year driving experience sitting in the front seat. To complete the driving test, drivers must bring their own car with a proper title, registration, insurance, and safety inspected vehicle. Teen drivers must have good school attendance to get a license.

Restrictions: New drivers can only drive alone between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. or 8 p.m. during daylight savings time. If there is a licensed driver 21 years old or older, driving is allowed until midnight. Between midnight and 6 a.m., driving is only allowed if a parent/guardian accompanies. Full privileges are granted at 16 if, within one year of having a license, there have been no traffic offenses or at-fault accidents.

Florida

Permit drivers must complete 50 hours of driving time with 10 hours being at night. They must be accompanied by a responsible adult who is at least 21 years old. During the first three months, driving is only allowed during daylight hours. The next three months, they can drive until 10 p.m. To get a license, the driver must have a learner’s license for at least a year or reach 18 years of age. There can be no moving violations from one year of the learner’s license date of issuance. The driving test is done in a registered, insured car that has passed inspection.

Restrictions: Florida has graduated licensing laws, which means there is more structure that gradually builds driving privileges. For newly licensed drivers, no driving between 11 pm and 6 am unless it is to work or with driver at least 21 years old in the passenger seat. Once 17 years old, no driving between 1 am to 5 am unless driving to work or accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old.

Driving Safely

Having a driver’s license is a great privilege that has specific responsibilities attached to it. No matter what state you are completing driving lessons and getting a license, each driver must practice safe driving, follow the laws, and be careful. Any restrictions added have been to help protect many of the common problems that many new teen drivers face.