Driving school lessons you may have forgotten
August 5, 2021
Whether you’re a brand-new driver or you’ve been on the road for decades, there’s a good chance you’ve forgotten a few of the rules you learned in driving school.
Let’s be honest. The moment you pass your driving test, the nitty-gritty details you memorized to score your driver’s license—are long gone.
The truth is, many of us crammed for that test, retainingjust enough of that information, just long enough to pass the test and get our drivers license. But some of those lessons we learned (and likely forgot) are just too important not to revisit.
Regardless of how much you think you remember, there’s never a bad time to get a refresher on the rules of the road. If you’re the studious type, and you REALLY want to dive in, treat yourself to a few joy-filled hours studying your state’s driver’s manual. If that’s not quite your speed, you can start withretro instructional video from the UK.
Looking for the cheat sheet version? Here are the driving school lessons we think everyone should commit to memory.
Five driving school lessons you shouldn’t forget
1. Defensive driving
Defensive driving is the practice of using driving strategies that help minimize risk and avoid accidents. To help you stay alert both on and off the road, here are four tips to keep in mind:
Check weather conditions before hitting the road
Avoid getting upset at other drivers—play it cool, play it safe
Be aware of your surroundings on the road by utilizing your mirrors and windows
Leave more space between yourself and other drivers on the road
This is great advice, but as the saying goes, “it’s easier said than done”, sometimes putting advice into action makes it much easier to comprehend.
2. Distracted driving
These days, when people think about distracted driving, they think about their smartphones. It’s easy to lose focus to a text, an email or a music app while driving. Distracted driving causes far too many accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019 there were a reported 3,142 lives claimed by distracted driving. To combat these statistics, many states are taking action by passing laws to reduce the amount of distracted driving.
While cell phones are a big pull away from your concentration on the road, remember to keep an eye out for other things that can distract you—like drowsiness, emotions, your car radio, passengers and so on. Consider incorporating these three tips to maintain the focus and proper frame of mind when you hit the road:
Always give yourself enough time. Plan ahead by checking Google Maps or Waze to see how long it will take to get to your destination for the time of day you’ll be traveling. The more time you leave yourself to get to your destination, the less you’ll be rushing.
Take a deep breath. When traffic is bad, or other drivers are driving irresponsibly, take a nice deep cleansing breath. There’s not much you can do to get out of a traffic jam, so why not stay in traffic feeling calm and focused? If other drivers are stressed and their driving shows it, don’t get caught up in it. Stay in your lane, stay calm and stay happy.
Take the high road. Being a courteous and kind driver spreads goodwill on the road. By being the driver you want others to be, you help make the roads more safe and enjoyable to be on. Don’t underestimate the impact your seemingly small positive acts can have on another driver.
3. Stopping distance
OK, pop quiz! On average, how many feet will it take your car to stop when traveling 60 MPH on a dry, level surface?
Tough question, we know.
The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has the answer. At 60 MPH, it can take a vehicle up to 304 feet to come to a complete stop. With that, it’s an important reminder to keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. But how do you know if you’re leaving enough space or if you’re braking too abruptly?
Imagine placing a glass of water on the dashboard. Each time you brake, think about whether the water would spill based on your change in speed. If the answer is yes, you’re probably not leaving enough space between you and the car in front of you. If not, you’re likely leaving plenty of space.
4. The right-of-way
If two cars arrive at a four-way stop at the same time, who has the right-of-way? If you answered, “the car on the right”—you’re correct. Drivers must yield to the driver on their right in this situation.
While this is not the toughest question for seasoned drivers, having a firm understanding of who has the right-of-way in different situations is an important driving school lesson to remember.
5. Odd laws
While you probably didn’t hear about these laws in driving school, we think they are worthy of an honorable mention.
Here are some of our favorite oddball driving laws from across the country:
In Kansas, wheel spinning and tire squealing is illegal—time to hold off on that street racing hobby.
It is illegal to have more than 11 permanent vehicles in front of your home in Rhode Island.
In California, you can be cited for an loud exhaust.
Read about more obscure state traffic laws here.
We hope this has served as a reminder of the important things you learned in driving school. Of course, we couldn’t cover all of the exciting (and not so exciting) details. Stay safe out there, HiRoad family!
The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with HiRoad®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. HiRoad is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. HiRoad makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.
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