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Driving on a quiet street – part one

Goal: Teach your teen to move and stop a vehicle safely and with confidence on quiet roads.

Location: Start in a large, level, mostly empty area. Move to a quiet neighborhood street when indicated. Out of respect to our neighbors, please do not use official state road test courses for practice. Before moving out onto the road, make sure that your teen has reviewed the driver’s manual and is familiar with street signs, signals, pavement markings, and yield and speed laws.


Skill review Starting in a quiet, large, level, empty area, review the skills learned so far. Have your teen drive several laps around the lot, practicing smooth braking and accelerating, maintaining steady speeds, steering into right and left turns, and using reference points to align the car with curbs (or lines).


Lesson one – commentary driving Coach your teen to use “commentary driving” (see sidebar on page 2) throughout this lesson, if possible.


Lesson two – lane position When you and your teen feel ready, move to a quiet street. With your teen behind the wheel, first have them practice driving straight in three different lane positions. Do this for several miles, practicing each position at least 10 times:


Center position ➊: The most common position, with the vehicle centered within the lane.


Coach your teen that they should stay in the center position under most circumstances.


Left position ➋: The vehicle positioned to the left side of the lane. This is best used when approaching a hill or curve.


Right position ➌: The vehicle positioned to the right side of the lane. This is usually done when making a right turn to allow for a safety margin on the left side of the vehicle.


Lesson three – intersections Coach your teen on these techniques for safely approaching an intersection:


• Search for vehicles, pedestrians, signs, and traffic signals.


• Check the rearview mirror for any potential hazards behind the car.

• If it’s an intersection with traffic signals, identify who has the green light.


• If turning, put on your turn signal at least 100 feet ahead

(about 10 car lengths) on city streets and 300 feet (30 car lengths) on open highways.


• If a stop is required, stop behind the white stop line.


• Select the best lane for the intended direction of travel.


• Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other vehicles.

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