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1, 2 and 3 Week Driving Courses
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Behind The Wheel Driving Lessons
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For The Parents of Teen Drivers
There are numerous behaviors the new driver must perform to pass the Nevada DMV road test. We tell every student to explain to their parents.
Some of these behaviors may not be common to seasoned drivers.
1. The driver must stop behind the white line at intersections for a full count of 3.
And at all stop signs.
I even tell students to perform a 4 count just to make sure there is no question they did a complete stop.
Even in their own neighborhood where nobody stops first behind the stop sign we tell them to build the habit.
Crossing the line or passing the sign before stopping is an automatic fail.
Not coming to a complete stop is an auto fail.
2. If there is no white line to use as a marker for the stop. The driver can align the side view mirror to the stop sign pole. But the driver's seat must be behind the stop sign.
After stopping the driver may of course creep up to get a clear view before proceeding. This may require a 2nd stop if not clear.
We do tell the student driver there is no need to stop twice if clear. As they build confidence we encourage them to move out.
3. When changing lanes the driver must check the rear view mirror as well as the side mirror first. Then signal for 100 ft before doing a headshake looking for one second to the blind spot before gliding into the next lane. The signal should be left on several seconds before cancelling.
Turning the signal off before complete lane change loses points.
Abrupt lane changes loses points.
No head shake loses points.
Changing lanes in traffic is a different skill altogether. On the road test the examiner will have them change lanes where there is no traffic. The examiner does not want to place themselves at risk either as they have no experience with the driver.
When changing lanes in traffic we explain that the 100 foot signalling rule is not always possible. They must often turn their signal on and leave it on until someone in the next lane drops back for them.
The new driver must also not look too long over their shoulder at the same time control their speed to merge in. They often have difficulty judging the speed and distance to the car in front and behind.
They may slow down too much inhibiting the traffic behind them, and wait too long to move over.
I often ask before changing lanes if they see a car in the side mirror and if they have the distance to move over. They will often see a car 1/2 block or more behind us and tell me they cannot move over.
CHANGING LANES IN TRAFFIC TAKES ALOT OF PRACTICE.
4. The driver must be a full car length behind the next car on stops. To see the tires touch the road. Stopping too close will lose points on the test.
Other common issues with new drivers.
Their turns are too slow. They must first become confident in the control of the vehicle including the steering and recovery of the wheel. Its common at first that they will roll thru the turn rather than accelerate slightly.
Once the turning radius and wheel recovery is consistent we encourage the student to start accelerating thru the turn. This requires that they slow down sufficiently before the turn. They will often slow down too much at first.
Turning right on a red light. This maneuver is not legal in many developed countries
New drivers are not comfortable turning right on a red light. Legally we tell them they can wait for a green light. They cannot fail the drive test for waiting.
However as we all know they will get honked at !
So we always practice stopping completely behind the line first, (not following the car in front of us who did not stop) only then creeping up towards the corner to check if they are clear.
When turning right on red they must turn into the first lane. This is a slower turn then when drivers accelerate into the 2nd or 3rd lane.
And if the new driver turns but does not get up to speed and a car catches them because the light just changed they will fail their test. For cutting off the car behind them.
Turning into the first lane is often a tight turn for them especially if they are just starting to learn to steer the vehicle. We teach them to move the car towards the corner and angle it towards the turn. They often have the car pointing straight ahead then attempt to do a 90 degree turn. That can make the turn very rough as they must bring the wheel all the way back on recovery.
From my experience having taught literally hundreds of people driving skills its not possible for most new drivers to perform new skills right out of the gate.
There are exceptions to the rule but that's not the majority.
Every student is different. In my opinion it takes a year of consistent driving and concentrated practice to smooth out all the kinks and build the confidence.
We normally do 2 hour lessons. Unless the student is sleepy or too distracted. If they are yawning I bring them back. I had one student recently fall asleep at the light. He informed me he stayed up still 530 am watching movies on a school night.
Every lesson includes regular parking in busy lots, parallel parking on the street or at the DMV barrels. We drive on all speed zones, 25,35 and 45. We practice lane changes under various conditions. Drive sessions often Include freeway if the student is ready and wants to.
We practice on residential and all major roads in Las Vegas. Including the DMV testing routes.
Other areas of practice: We can drive to the MCcarran Airport. through the tunnels and terminals. We drive downtown, on The Strip and Fremont areas. All the major freeways and interchanges.