5 tips to pass the road test for teen drivers

5 tips to pass the road test for teen drivers

Drive Smart Georgia offers five tips to pass the road test for nervous teen drivers who may need a boost of confidence. If teens take our advice, they may still be a bit nervous but their chances of passing the road test are a bit higher.

The 411 on a Georgia road test

A Provisional Driver’s License (Class D) is granted to teen drivers 16 and 17 years of age who have held an Instructional Permit for one year and one day and passed a driving test.

Below are more road test requirements for teen drivers from the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS).

  • Must be at least 16 years old.
  • No major violations that resulted in the suspension of learner’s permit.
  • 40 hours of supervised driving with a parent or guardian (6 hours of the 40 hours must be at night).
  • Must complete Joshua’s Law requirements.

Checklist of Required Documents for 16- and 17-Year-Olds

  • Valid Learner’s Permit for one year and one day.
  • Georgia DDS Certificate of Attendance notarized by the school
  • ADAP Certificate
  • Certificate of Completion of 30-hour Driver’s Ed course at a state-certified driving school.
  • A Driving Experience Affidavit affirming the applicant has a minimum of 40 hours of driving, 6 of which must be at night.
  • Must present valid registration and insurance for vehicle used on road test (not required to be in applicant’s name).

Tip #1 to pass the road test – Practice!

teen driver tips drive smart georgia

Practice. Practice. Then, practice some more. Practice makes perfect, but parents should also know the facts. Car accidents remain the #1 cause of death for teens 15-19. Your child may be a great driver, but the same can’t be said for other drivers who choose risky behind-the-wheel behaviors.

Learning how to drive involves learning how to react to different and potentially dangerous situations. With a cool head and steady hand of guidance, parents can work with their teen to gain valuable driving experience.

Start off on surface roads to help your teen practice what they learned in Driver’s Ed. As confidence increases, try some larger, multi-lane roads. Drive when it’s sunny. Practice in the rain or during storms. Drive during the daylight hours. Then, head out at night. Over time, teens will become more cautious, yet confident drivers.

Tip #2: Reinforce “IPDE” with your teen driver


Drive Smart Georgia teaches IPDE to all our students. IPDE is the step-by-step process of defensive driving and complexities of visual perception in traffic. In layman’s terms, it simply means that when new and inexperienced drivers play defense, their chance of becoming another tragic statistic decreases dramatically.

The first step of IPDE is IDENTIFY. The short explanation is to scan and locate potential hazards. The second step in the IPDE method is to PREDICT what might happen should you encounter a real or potential hazard. The third step is to DECIDE what action to take to avoid a real danger.

The fourth and final step in IPDE is EXECUTE. After identifying a hazard, predicting how it will impact the situation, and deciding on what action to take, it’s time to execute an action to avoid danger. Because execution can happen in a split second, it’s important to always be aware and alert while behind the wheel.

Drive Smart Georgia will continue to teach and emphasize the IPDE technique to all our students. We review emergency situations and potential hazards in our classrooms. However, IPDE must be practiced on the road in real life situations. That’s why it’s important to discuss and practice IPDE while supervising your teen’s driving.

Tip #3: Sign a Parent-Teen Driver Agreement

Resources for teen drivers

Learning to drive can be both exciting and stressful for a teenager – and for concerned parents, like YOU! AAA has developed a teen driver-parent agreement to help families work together to safely navigate the learning process.

The agreement helps establish rules and consequences for teens, but also places responsibilities on parents. Safe driving generally requires much more than what state laws call for, so signing an agreement before the teen starts driving can be helpful in establishing expectations for the whole family.

By working as a team, parents and teens can accomplish their shared goal – a safe, successful teen driver.

To download AAA’s Parent-Teen Driving Agreement, click here.

Tip #4: Practice specific driving skills

Driving lessons at Drive Smart Georgia

In order to pass the road test, teens will need to demonstrate specific driving skills, like parallel parking, straight line backing, and the turnabout. The Drive Smart Georgia location in Johns Creek has the largest practice facility in Metro Atlanta. It’s always set-up with cones to practice parallel parking. Feel free to stop by to brush up those tricky skills when the course is not occupied by an instructor/student.

Tip #5: Stay involved every step of the process

good example drive smart georgia

The single most important thing parents can do to help their teens become safe drivers is to be involved in their ‘learning to drive’ process. Spend time coaching your teen while they’re behind the wheel and have serious discussions about safety.

Your teen driver’s comfort level and confidence increase over time with behind-the-wheel experience. Teaching a teen to drive is a partnership between the driving school and the parent. Obviously, the student is not going to learn how to drive in a single lesson or even over the 6-hour program.

Even when you might not feel like it, grab the keys, sit in the passenger seat, and let your teen get in even more behind-the-wheel experience. Experience leads to confidence. Confidence, in turn, leads to passing the driver’s test and the path to becoming a lifelong safe driver.

Our final tip is to set a good example while your teenager is learning how do drive. If you don’t want your child to speed, don’t speed. Don’t answer calls or texts while your teen is driving or in the car with you. A good example is the best sermon.

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