Colorado drive test laws are quite specific, and there are a number of things the tester looks for before passing a new driver. Drive tests are stressful, but a prepared and well-trained student should pass the drive test without any problem.
As parents, we teach our teens how to drive, and our common goal is that with our guidance, they will become safe, responsible drivers who easily pass the license exam when the time comes.
While our intentions are in the right place, we are often totally unaware of our own bad habits that negatively influence our budding drivers. In the 50 required hours of practice (remember, more is better!), we ignore many of the simple rules of the road we need our teens to use in all moments of their driving experience.
To assist your teen in passing the drive test and becoming a skilled, careful driver, here are ten tips that will help you be the ideal role model behind the wheel:
- Come to complete stops. This sounds simple enough, but when we come to a stop sign on a quiet road, how many of us really bring the car to a full stop? If you answer honestly, you’ll most likely realize than you often roll on through.
- Leave adequate space between your car and the car in front of you. Never tailgate. A sudden stop by the car you are following too closely can create an unnecessary collision. Making a point of leaving enough space between you and other cars will help your teen develop this as a habit early on.
- Hold the steering wheel in the “10 and 2” or “9 and 3” position, and turn the wheel appropriately. Do you ever “hook” the steering wheel? If you do, please stop as this is actually a dangerous practice. Your teen notices more than you think.
- Keep to the speed limit. Even if it’s 25 mph and no one is around, remember that there is always a reason for the chosen speed. Speed limits are especially important to follow during a drive test, as they are in place to keep all parties safe on the road. Even if it’s tempting to speed up a bit in a desolate area, it’s more important that your teen gets in the habit of always following the driving laws.
- Always “search” around your vehicle when driving. Scanning ahead, behind and to the sides of the car keeps the driver aware of everything happening on the road. The vehicle’s side and rearview mirrors should be checked constantly while driving. This habit will teach your teen to be a defensive driver.
- Stay in your lane. This sounds like a no-brainer, but have you ever watched another driver make a turn and miss the lane? If you have, you know how terrifying it can be. Staying in your lane greatly reduces the likelihood of a collision.
- Use your turn signal in advance of the turn, and remember to turn it off. This is the way you communicate to other drivers, so it’s extremely important to follow these rules. It may be a basic driving law, but it’s truly shocking how many motorists fail to signal when changing lanes or making turns (which is a traffic violation). According to the Colorado Driver Handbook, you are supposed to signal continuously for 100 feet when driving in urban and metropolitan areas and for 200 feet when on highways with speed limits over 40 mph.
In a previous study by the Society of Automotive Engineers, it was found that approximately two million collisions are caused every year by drivers neglecting to use their turn signals. Take preventative action by always using your signal!
- When changing lanes, remember to always look over your shoulder, check both side mirrors, and check your rearview mirror. You should do this when you’re getting ready to go into the other lane and again while actually making the lane change. Though it isn't a law per se, it's always a good idea to instill in your teen the habit of waiting a couple of seconds after checking before actually starting the lane change. Doing this each and every time will significantly reduce the likelihood of collisions occurring, as it keeps you aware of your surroundings.
- Never jerk the car. Brake gently, accelerate slowly, and turn smoothly. This proves that the driver is always in control of the car.
- Watch for other cars and pedestrians, and always yield at intersections. Intersections can be hazardous areas, so make a point of being especially attentive when arriving at one. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
These are only a few driving tips that can lead to a safe experience on the road, but following them devoutly will help show your teen how to pass the drive test and become a safe driver for life! These rules apply to everyone, including new drivers and those of us who have been driving for more years than we care to acknowledge. Remember, leading by example is the best way to encourage your teen to grow into a cautious, responsible motorist, so always be mindful of what kind of influence you’re demonstrating with your own driving behavior.
Find a Driving School That Will Be a Partner In Your Teen’s Success
Teaching someone how to drive is a commitment and a responsibility. When it comes time to get your aspiring driver behind the wheel, you want someone by your side who is just as invested in your teen’s success and well-being as you are. At the end of the day, the Colorado drivers ed program you select should operate as your co-teacher, sharing the mission of shaping your teen into a skilled and guarded motorist.
DriveSafe is Colorado’s most popular driving school, and that’s because we put safety first. Our passionate instructors are patient, encouraging, and fully invested in each student’s progress.
Contact us today to find out how we can help your teen pass the drivers test and start experiencing the life-changing responsibility of getting behind the wheel.