Driving is a skill that requires time to master. The learning time depends on various factors. Let’s find out how long it takes to learn how to drive and delve into a few helpful driving tips for beginners.
How Long Does It Take to Learn How to Drive?
The time it takes to learn how to drive can depend on the state where you’re trying to get your license. Some states require 20 to 30 hours of formal classroom driver’s education, such as Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina, and Vermont.
On top of these hours, student drivers must also get an additional 10 to 40 hours of driving experience. Some states even require students to drive under challenging conditions like inclement weather and nighttime driving.
Meanwhile, in states like Colorado, you can get your license by driving for as little as six hours, provided that you earn a “Behind The Wheel” certificate.
Factors That Influence How Fast You Can Learn How to Drive
How fast you learn how to drive usually depends on these factors.
The Driving Instructor
Your learning time when it comes to driving does not only depend on your own skills but also on your instructor’s skill and teaching style. A driving instructor who’s had enough experience and effective teaching methods can help you learn the basics faster.
If you’re someone who leans on books and general information, you might want to get a traditional instructor that focuses on theories and technical skills. Otherwise, you might want to go for a teacher that focuses on hands-on techniques like computer simulations.
Aptitude and Discipline for Driving
If you have an aptitude for driving, you’ll likely learn the ropes faster than others. Aside from that, factors like age, gender, and health can also impact your learning time when it comes to driving.
But don’t think that naturally gifted learners are the only ones who become great drivers. Discipline also plays a part in enhancing the skill. So if you have the motivation and willingness to learn even without having an aptitude for driving, you’ll still be able to get the hang of it in no time.
Some people need to practice outside their sessions with their instructors to learn faster. So if you’re one of these students, you can always squeeze in a few hours between your daily schedule to practice in a nearby parking lot.
Exposure to Different Road Situations
You’ll learn a lot faster when you practice in different road situations of varying levels of difficulty. So whenever you get the chance, consider driving around places with intersections and different speed limits. You can also drive in various weather conditions at different times of the day. This will help you get the hang of navigating around traffic as well.
There’s always going to be a certain amount of risk involved when driving, no matter how cautious you are. The sooner you understand this, the faster you’ll learn how to get comfortable behind the wheel. You’ll probably encounter a few reckless drivers while on the road, so it’s best you know how to respond to them.
Hazard perception is important when learning how to drive. Developing this skill can help you identify potential dangers on the road and act accordingly. It might not seem like a big deal to many, but skills like checking your mirrors can be a lifesaver.
Understanding of the Highway Code
Understanding the highway code is essential when learning the basics of driving. Not only will this keep you out of road accidents, but it can also save you from paying a hefty fine because of a traffic violation.
Tips to Learn Safe Driving
Safety should always be your priority when driving. You’ll mostly learn safety tips during your time in driving school, and it’s important to keep them in mind even as you rack up more experience. Check out some of the most common tips below.
Avoid the Blind Spot
Before driving, make sure your side mirrors can display the vehicles alongside your car. Your side mirrors should eliminate your blind spot and display nearby vehicles entering your peripheral vision.
Don’t Go Over 5 Mph the Speed Limit
Five miles per hour (mph) might not seem too fast, but it can actually increase the risk of getting into an accident. According to a report from DriverInControl.org, vehicle control can decrease exponentially for every mile per hour the speed increases.
Don’t Stop and Text
Distracted driving is one of the most common reasons why crashes happen. Even when you pull over to reply to a text, it’s highly likely that you’ll lose situational awareness once you resume driving. It might even cause you to ignore potential hazards.
Observe the Three-Second Rule
Tailgating can result in a rear-end collision, which is one of the most frequent crash types. Make sure to stay three seconds behind the vehicle in front of you so that you’ll have enough stopping distance in the case of an emergency.
Always Look Ahead
Concentrating on a short distance or the pavement is a frequent mistake for newbie drivers. Always look ahead, preferably 10 to 15 seconds down the road to avoid road hazards and act accordingly.
Wear Your Seatbelt at All Times
Seatbelts reduce the risk of injury during a crash by 50%. Some vehicles alert the driver and passenger to wear their seat belts by emitting a beeping sound that goes away once they’re locked in.
Where Can I Learn to Drive a Car?
Many certified driving schools across the country offer lessons for beginners as well as refresher courses. You can enroll in one to learn how to drive. Aside from these lessons, you’ll also need to take a driving theory and road test to get your license.
Driver’s licenses in the US are issued by an individual state and its federal government. This means you’ll need to take a different test when obtaining a license from another state.
Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.