Mastering Highway Driving In Your Lessons

5 Key Steps To Mastering Highway Driving In Your Lessons

December 14, 2023

Teaching a new driver to drive on the highway can be intimidating. But with the right skills and knowledge, it’s easy to transition. During early lessons, work on quiet residential streets and empty parking lots. Then, start adding in highway driving, including entering and exiting the freeway, changing lanes safely and managing speed based on traffic conditions.

Practice In Multiple Lanes

Changing lanes is one of the most difficult maneuvers for new drivers of a driving school in Cold Spring, Kentucky. They must be able to see a clear path ahead and know how much time they have left to stop before the vehicle in front of them brakes or takes another unexpected action. They also need to understand how to merge properly. This means signaling intent, building speed to match traffic, checking mirrors and blind spots, and connecting when it’s safe. Teens should stay in the right lane when on a highway unless they need to pass. Driving in the left lane is dangerous unless you’re actively overtaking a driver, and it blocks other drivers’ escape routes. It’s also illegal in some states. Try to avoid driving on the highway during rush hour or bad weather.

Practice In A Quiet Environment

When practicing, stick to quiet streets or empty parking lots for the first several lessons. This will help your student focus on mastering basic driving skills such as smooth braking and acceleration, maintaining steady speeds, and steering into right and left turns. When it comes time to practice highway driving, plan for a day when the road won’t be too busy, encourage your teen to stay centered in their lane and check their mirrors frequently. Please help them identify highway signs, including exits, tolls, and work zones. Also, remind them to look over their shoulder when following a car and to be comfortable checking blind spots at highway speeds. They will want to leave at least six seconds between their vehicle and the car ahead of them.

Practice At High Speeds

Young drivers often need to be more confident. They may be good at controlling their car but must become more accustomed to identifying and reacting to developing hazards. This becomes especially true when they are driving at higher speeds. This can be a dangerous combination and increases the risk of a crash. Drivers at high rates have less time to identify and respond to potential problems, so even minor errors can be more severe. Encourage your learner to practice checking blind spots when driving at higher speeds. It is also important to teach them to leave at least six seconds between their vehicle and the one ahead. This will allow them to slow down in time if the driver ahead slows suddenly or needs to brake for any reason.

Practice In A Variety Of Weather Conditions

Exposing your teen driver to various driving conditions is important to prepare them for what they may encounter on the road. This includes different times of day, weather, traffic and road conditions. For example, when practicing in high-traffic scenarios, it is recommended that drivers maintain a buffer space of three to four seconds between their vehicle and the car ahead of them. This gives them time to react if the vehicle in front of them brakes or takes another unexpected action. Similarly, driving in rain, snow, slush and ice requires increased caution, as slippery roads can significantly affect traction and steering. Braking also takes longer on wet roads. Therefore, learners must slow down when braking and increase their following distance. This is essential to highway safety.

Practice In An Empty Parking Lot

An empty parking lot is the best way to help your new driver practice turning and maneuvering their car. Start by teaching them to pull into regular parking spaces, then move on to parallel and perpendicular parking spaces. Once comfortable in the parking lot, take them out on residential roads to get a feel for driving around people and other cars. Be sure to choose a time when the streets are quiet, like late night or the weekend. This is the perfect time to practice listening for other drivers’ signals, which will become more important when they graduate to the highway. It’s also a good opportunity to teach them how to pass other cars on the road safely. The key is to listen and be aware of your surroundings, not blast your music!

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