Driving can seem daunting at first to new drivers, but the Eagle Eye reached out to veteran drivers—students and teachers—to get some advice that should help new drivers feel less intimidated. From advice on written tests and road tests, to driving on your own for the first time, here’s what we found.
Scheduling a driver’s test is the first step toward getting a license. Many students who gone through the process urge prospective drivers to schedule the test far in advance as the appointments fill up fast. On taking the test, junior Jolie Wong said, “The test is 80% [dependent on] your proctor and their mood so don’t beat yourself up over not doing as well. But of course practice well until you feel confident and the rest will fall into place.” Feeling comfortable in one’s driving skill is the most important aspect of taking the test. To prepare for the test, Matthew Tanji advises students to “practice wherever you’re going to take the road test. The more practice the better.” Going around the intended course is not only helpful for getting familiar with the surrounding area, but it boosts your confidence.
Students often forget that driving incurs some administrative costs. Junior Ryan Fukui offers this advice: “Car insurance for teens, especially boys, is the most expensive program because of inexperienced drivers. If you get into an accident, paying for damages won’t be much of a problem due to insurance, but your insurance will skyrocket because you’re a teenager. Police officers also would rather pull over a teenager than an adult. Tickets will also raise your insurance a lot.” Driving carefully should be of upmost importance to students learning how to drive. The habits students develop while learning to drive stick with them throughout their lives, so cultivating safe driving skills from the start is crucial.
It is also common for new drivers to have comical moments that result from their inexperience. Wong shared one of her more memorable stories from driving: “My backpack was so heavy in the passenger seat it set off my car’s alarm. Thinking it was a serious problem, I called my dad to drive over and help me. The moral of the story: Don’t put your bag on your passenger seat if it weighs a ton and thank your dad for being a free auto mechanic.”
Biology teacher Risha Mishima also shared her funny story. “When trying to tell another car to go and you both continue urging the other to go, then you give up and just proceed, since the other car really wants to be a gentleman,” she said.
Whether you’re a veteran or a beginner driver, there is still is always more to learn about driving. For students who are starting the process of learning to drive, check out teendriversource.org, a website by the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. It provides tips for safe driving and car accident prevention.