For some, they immigrate to the U.S. from another country and need a new license to drive here. Others may migrate from living in a big city where driving can be expensive and inconvenient, and where they could rely on public transportation. Whatever the reason, many adults who didn’t learn as teens find themselves in the position of needing to learn to drive later in life.
If you or a loved one is in need of some adult driving resources, here are some tips for getting started.
Know which class of license you need.
There are a few different types of driver licenses. If you are 18 or older, you’ll be applying for a Class D license. This is the license required to drive a regular car (vs. a motorcycle or commercial license).
Obtain a permit.
If you’re in Arizona, you’ll need to take a written test to get your driving permit. One good way to prepare for your permit is to take a class (whether in a classroom or online) from a driving school, such as Stop and Go Driving School. These classes help you learn all you need to know to prepare for the written test.
Be prepared with the necessary documents.
In order to drive legally, you’ll need to provide proof of identity and proof of residence. You’ll need to supply your social security number to verify your identity and comply with state and local laws. You must also supply proof that your presence is authorized in the U.S. You can find a list of acceptable documents here.
Find someone to teach you.
When taking driving lessons as an adult, many people prefer to use a driving school. There are many benefits of using a driving school rather than a friend or family member. Driving instructors have the right experience in teaching others (including adults) how to drive—and that experience includes knowing how to be patient with new drivers of all ages.
In addition, they know all the ins and outs of the current laws and best driving practices, so they’ll teach you exactly what you need to know to succeed in taking the driving test.
What to Know Before You Get Behind the Wheel
As driving instructors, we’ve had experience with some of the most common errors new drivers make. Here are a few to be aware of before you sit for the very first time in the driver’s seat.
- Pay attention to your surroundings: It’s easy to get distracted, especially when you have so many steps and tasks to do as a driver. Make sure to focus on what’s going on around your vehicle.
- Sit correctly: Proper positioning is important for staying safe. When your car is parked, adjust your seat so you can reach the pedals and hold the steering wheel in the 9 and 3 position with your arms slightly bent.
- Look forward: It can be tempting to cast your gaze around when there’s so much going on around you, but the safest and best place to look is ahead of you. Your rearview and side mirrors are there to help you see in all directions.
- Watch for signs: Road signs are there to keep everyone safe and to provide direction. Preparing to take your permit test will familiarize you with the various signs and meanings.
- Watch for emergency vehicles: These vehicles, including police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances, have the right of way.
- Know who has the right of way: So much of safe driving has to do with understanding who goes when. Understanding this can be tricky for the inexperienced driver, especially when other drivers are unaware of or don’t always follow the rules.
- Look before driving through intersections: Look left, right, then left again before you pull out. Don’t presume that everyone will follow the traffic signals. Look for pedestrians and cyclists, too.
- Plan ahead for blindspots: When another car pulls alongside your vehicle, there will be a point where it is no longer visible in your rearview or side mirror, but has not yet reached the point where you can see it in your field of peripheral vision. This is your blind spot. Learn how to glance quickly over your shoulder before you make a lane change.
Let Stop and Go Driving School help. We’re here to guide you through the process of learning all you need to know to obtain your driving permit, license, and get on the road safely as an adult driver. Contact us to get started today.