Get enough practice


Practice safe driving tips
Get enough practice
Road Test Assist
Practice makes perfect! We know you’ve heard that before, but it’s especially true with driving. It can be a little nerve wracking too, but there are ways you can prepare that will help you pass that test on your first try. Here are some helpful tips.
Get enough practice. Some drivers need more practice than others. Minors (under 18 years old) must complete 50 hours of behind-the-wheel training (10 hours must be night driving) before taking a driving test. When you practice, pretend you are taking a driving test. Ask your accompanying driver to calmly point out your mistakes. Ask questions about particular driving situations that may have confused you and correct your mistakes. The next time you practice, try to correct any driving errors you made before. The DMV examiner is there to ensure you have demonstrated that you can handle your vehicle in regular traffic situations, not to trick you. During your driving test, the examiner will note how you obey the rules of the road and traffic signs and/or signals. They will note other areas in which you may need improvement.

Practice safe driving tips. To improve your driving skills:

  • Steer smoothly at all times.
  • Accelerate smoothly. Don’t rev the engine or make it stall.
  • Stop the vehicle gently. Start braking well ahead of where you must stop to avoid sudden movement. Know where to stop. Be aware of crosswalks. If your view is blocked at a crosswalk, move forward carefully and look both ways before entering the intersection.
  • Be sure your vehicle is in the correct gear. Don’t grind the gears. Don’t coast to a stop.
  • Always obey the posted speed limits. If needed, reduce your speed to adjust for existing weather, road, and other traffic conditions. Remember to turn on your headlights if you need to use your windshield wipers in poor weather conditions.
  • Follow at a safe distance. Use the 3 second rule. Increase your following distance in bad weather or poor visibility.
  • Know what the traffic signals mean and obey them at all times.
  • Always use the proper lane and start a turn from the correct lane into the correct lane.
  • Signal for all lane changes and turns.
  • Always look for potential hazards (scan), and check your mirrors frequently. Always look over the proper shoulder before making lane changes or pulling away from the curb.
  • Drive defensively. Anticipate another driver’s errors.

Review the California Driver Handbook and other tools available at These tools provide detailed instructions on how to correctly perform the driving actions required on a driving test, the laws, rules of the road, and safe driving practices.