How to Learn to Drive in a Weekby Matthew Schieltz
Passing your state's driving test allows you to operate a motor vehicle freely, which is a proud moment and good feeling for most people. Taking an intensive, week-long driving lesson not only teaches you the basics of operating a motor vehicle, but helps you learn the driving principles needed to pass a state-required driving test. Before jumping in the car, however, be sure to comply with all beginning-driver's laws, which in many states include a law requiring that you practice with a responsible, licensed driver.
Ask a friend, family member, or driving instructor to accompany you while you learn to drive for the week. Tell the person that you want to learn quickly so that you can obtain your driver's license as soon as possible.
Begin the first day of your driving lessons in a large parking lot or in some other wide, empty space. Get accustomed to sitting in the driver's seat and handling the controls before you actually turn the ignition. Adjust the seat so that you can easily reach the gas and brake pedals, and clutch if using a manual transmission. Reach for the steering column, stick-shift gearbox, and emergency brake to make sure that each is in a comfortable, convenient location. Check out the lights and readings on the driver's dash panel, such as the speedometer and odometer, so that you know what they are. If using a manual transmission, move the stick-shift through all of its gears for practice before driving.
Turn the ignition "on" when you're ready to drive around the parking lot. Drive slowly through the lot, using both the gas pedal and brake to control your speed. Practice using the clutch and neutral position if using a manual transmission. Make both wide and sharp turns while practicing for the first time. Ask your friend in the passenger seat for pointers or to help if you need assistance. End your parking lot driving session when you're comfortable with operating the car.
Choose a low-traffic, residential area for the second and third days of your driving lessons. Drive slowly through the area as much as traffic congestion allows, making sure to avoid parked cars and other road objects. Practice making complete stops at stop signs and using your turn signals at all times. Master the skill of making turns from right-lane to right-lane. Spend at least several hours during each of your second and third driving lessons to get comfortable on the road.
Take your driving lessons to an urban city area for the fourth day so that you can learn to drive in a variety of traffic conditions. Practice driving for a few hours during the daylight and at least two hours during sunset and nighttime to get comfortable with driving in the dark. Continue the driving principles used when learning to drive in the residential area neighborhood.
Drive on the highway or interstate during days five and six of your driving lessons. Combine highway driving with other driving conditions, such as in-city driving, country, and low-traffic residential areas. Practice changing lanes and using turn signals on the interstate to get comfortable with high-speed driving. Leave at least one-car-length between you and the car in front on the highway for every 10 miles per hour that you're driving.
Practice your driving skills which need improvement the most during the final day of your driving lesson. Focus on mastering turns, changing lanes, and getting comfortable with highway driving. Have your friend or instructor help you learn how to parallel park. Spend as much time as you need practicing important driving skills, such as communicating with other drivers at stop-sign intersections and operating the car while in reverse.
Matthew Schieltz has been a freelance web writer since August 2006, and has experience writing a variety of informational articles, how-to guides, website and e-book content for organizations such as Demand Studios. Schieltz holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He plans to pursue graduate school in clinical psychology.