Lack of time, lack of courage, lack of money, whatever the reason for putting off learning how to drive may be, the most important thing is that you eventually do learn and get your driver’s license.
Continuing to live life as a non-driver can impose limitations on yourself. You won’t be able to drive in case of emergencies and no one else is around. You can’t go wherever you need to go anytime you want without taking public transportation or asking someone else to drive you. And in case public transportation is not available, you would have to walk everywhere, which might be unsafe in some places.
In short, learning how to drive should be done sooner than later. The older you get, the more terrified you will be behind the wheel (as opposed to 16-year-olds who aren’t afraid of anything), and the harder it will be to learn.
So whether you are 25 or 35, here are the best tips for learning how to drive as an adult:
1. Study for the learner’s permit test
Even if other people make it seem like the easiest test in the world, it won’t hurt to study at least a little bit for your permit test. You can refer to study guides or student manuals that are available on your local DMV website. Keep in mind that you should also have to pass a 4-hour drug and alcohol test from DMV as well, so make sure that you are prepared for that, too.
Basically, the permit test is done to ensure that you understand basic traffic laws and safe driving techniques. It’s not that difficult, but it’s safer to do some reading so that you can pass on the first try, especially if you know next to nothing about traffic rules and driving methods.
2. Practice calming techniques
A lot of adult learners tend to panic when they’re behind the wheel, which is probably the reason why they have put off learning how to drive in the first place. If this sounds like you, you have to learn how to control your emotions if you want to be comfortable while driving. And to do that, try practicing calming techniques to keep your emotions in check, such as breathing or quick meditation.
However, if the anxiety and fear you feel about driving is extremely overwhelming or perhaps caused by a traumatic event in your history, it might be better to consult a therapist first. In this way, you can tackle the root of your fear and learn how to overcome it before learning how to drive.
3. Go to a driving school
With a learner’s permit, you can learn how to drive as long as there is a licensed passenger with you. This is a great option if you have someone who is good at driving and teaching other people how to drive. However, they may not be able to provide you with all the knowledge you need for the road.
Luckily, a driving school can. As an adult learner, it is advisable to take driving classes from a state-approved driving school. They will be able to adjust to your needs as an adult student, and you will be able to receive reliable answers for any questions that you may have.
And if you’re worried about driving lessons messing up your schedule, don’t be. Driving lessons take only a few hours per session and last only two weeks or so. If you have a full-time job or other commitments, look for a driving school that offers lessons after work hours.
4. Get an older instructor
Some people find it less nerve-wracking if their instructor is the same age as them or perhaps even older. As opposed to learning how to drive from someone a lot younger than you, having an older instructor can make you a lot less uneasy. So if you think that this will help calm your nerves, try to request an older instructor from your driving school.
5. Maintain your car regularly
One of the advantages of learning how to drive as an adult is that you likely have your own income now. This means that you can afford a vehicle and its maintenance, as well as the expenses involved in going to driving school and getting your license.
That said, make it a point to maintain your vehicle regularly. Ensure that your oil is changed, your tires are filled, and that your brakes are working properly, among other points of inspection. Doing this will help prevent car problems that can hinder your learning, as well as avoid unnecessary expenses in the long run.
Learning how to drive as an adult can be as scary as it was when you were a teenager, possibly even more so. Be that as it may, driving is an essential skill that all adults should have. If you finally want to learn how to drive, keep these pieces of advice in mind to make your experience a whole lot easier.