Easiest Way to Learn How to Drive

by Carrie Perles

The easiest way to learn how to drive is to take it step by step. Start in a parking lot, then move to the back roads, then a highway and then finally try driving in less than ideal conditions. And most important--practice.

The Parking Lot

The best place to learn the basics of driving is in a parking lot. Have a parent or other experienced driver take you to a large, empty lot with lots of room to drive around. At first, turn on the car and become familiar with the various controls, such as the windshield wipers, brights, air conditioning, hazard lights and defroster. Then put the car into drive and slowly take your foot off the break. You shouldn't need to press on the accelerator at the beginning; instead, ride the brake as you learn how to steer and become comfortable with the wheel. Eventually, practice using the accelerator to increase your speed and the brake to slow down. Practice pulling into an empty parking space and backing out again. Continue until you feel confident in your accelerating, braking and steering abilities.

Side Streets

Find a quiet area with many side streets for your next practice session. Practice slowing down as you approach an intersection, turning around curves easily, making both right and left turns and keeping your speed constant while going uphill and downhill. Ask the experienced driver accompanying you if you have any questions about rules, such as when to go at a four-way stop sign, who has the right of way at an intersection and what specific street signs mean. You may wish to practice on side streets for several sessions before moving on to the next stage.

Highway Driving

Now you're ready for the big leagues. Take your experienced driver to a nearby highway, preferably at a time of day when there is not a lot of traffic. Practice switching lanes with no cars behind you, then merging into traffic when there are cars behind you. Drive for a while on the highway, switching lanes occasionally, maintaining a constant speed and using on and off ramp correctly. You'll want to practice highway driving often until you feel completely comfortable navigating a highway on your own.

Less Than Ideal Conditions

Once you feel comfortable driving, try driving in conditions that are not ideal--such as at night, in heavy rain, in heavy snow, on icy roads and near roadwork. Becoming comfortable with these conditions is an important last step in learning how to drive.

About the Author

Keren (Carrie) Perles is a freelance writer with professional experience in publishing since 2004. Perles has written, edited and developed curriculum for educational publishers. She writes online articles about various topics, mostly about education or parenting, and has been a mother, teacher and tutor for various ages. Perles holds a Bachelor of Arts in English communications from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.