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Practice, Practice, Practice

You can only get behind the wheel if you have your Learner’s Permit. There is a certain amount of time (usually 6 months) you have to wait from the permit issue date until you can take your road test. During that time, you must log many, many hours of varied practice driving under adult supervision to develop critical driving skills and experience to prevent you from crashing. CHOP researchers have developed the TeenDrivingPlan Practice Guide to help you get the quality practice you need to become a safe driver.

First, identify who you are going to team up with for supervised practice driving. Whether it’s mom, dad, or another trusted adult, plan on how you are going to get the quality and quality of practice driving you need to become a safe driver.

Begin at an empty parking lot to practice basic skills and slowly advance to higher-speed roads to practice more complex skills. Keep in mind that traffic, pedestrians, weather, and time of day will affect how you handle the car. So you need lots of variety in your practice driving. 

You may also want to consider using the “Street” or "Satellite" view on an online mapping tool when planning a practice drive with your mom, dad, or other adult. The two of you can virtually “drive” and point out potential hazards or confusing directions along the route you choose to follow. This planning will also help you feel more comfortable driving alone when you get your probationary license. 

The goal is for you to be able to maneuver a car and make good driving decisions with little effort in a wide variety of environments (highways, cities, rural roads) under a wide variety of conditions (rain, snow, high-traffic, at night). Once you master these skills and have put in the required amount of supervised practice hours, you can return to the DMV for your driving test.

It's also good to know if you can legally drive out of state with a learner permit.  Visit DriveUSAonPermit to find out.


Download the TeenDrivingPlan
Practice Guide

Download the TeenDrivingPlan
Goal Guide

Download the TeenDrivingPlan
Logging and Rating Tool

Watch a video to learn how to
use these resources

Further reading:

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