There are some things every student driver will do when working towards getting their license in Colorado. The student driver will spend time sitting in the driver’s education class. They’ll hopefully spend time online answering questions on a practice permit test. The student driver should also spend plenty of time on the road.
More time spent on the road is a good thing. It is good for student drivers to start by driving in perfect conditions. A sunny day is the ideal way for new drivers to build their confidence behind the wheel! However, there does come a time when they need to tackle common road challenges before, they’re faced with them alone while operating a vehicle. Even if you don’t live in Colorado, the following is good advice if you live in the mountains or where there is snow and bad weather.
It is essential to learn how to drive on the road in rainy conditions. After all, it’s one of the most common challenging road conditions drivers are faced with! It is also one of the most dangerous.
Many new drivers make the mistake of thinking that it’s not a big deal if it’s raining, and they don’t have to do much to alter their driving technique. That’s far from the truth.
Things new drivers should learn when it’s raining include:
- Slow down to help reduce the chances of hydroplaning and skidding out.
- Always turn your headlights on, even if it’s raining during the middle of the day.
- Extend the gap between the vehicle ahead from three to four seconds to five seconds.
- Avoid slamming on the brakes, which could force water into the system and make your brakes less effective.
- Take turns slower than usual to avoid sliding on the road.
- Don’t be afraid to pull over if visibility becomes extremely low.
Snow and Ice
Snow and ice are a way of life in Colorado. Student drivers will spend just as much time behind the wheel tackling wild winter weather as they will drive in the warm sunshine of the summer.
By allowing a student driver to practice driving on the snow and ice, they can learn essential techniques to deal with these challenging road conditions. Learning that four-wheel drive isn’t foolproof in the snow is an excellent lesson to learn, as is practicing rolling through snow and ice without coming to a complete stop. It’s the perfect opportunity to talk about the kinds of things that should be in the car in case of an emergency.
Not only will Colorado drivers be faced with rain, snow, and ice, they will undoubtedly be faced with driving through the mountains!
Even if you don’t live in or around the mountains, everyone in Colorado is likely to end up driving through mountains on trips across the state or the country. Getting practice while students are still learning is essential.
Mountain driving safety tips include:
- When driving up a particularly steep incline, turn the air conditioning or heat off.
- Pullover and let the car rest if the engine is overheating.
- Put rocks behind the tires when stopping to prevent the vehicle from rolling.
Night driving is often taken for granted because it’s one road condition that happens every day. However, driving at night poses unique challenges that student drivers won’t face during the day.
For example, it can be much more difficult to read street signs in the dark. Darkness can make you feel like you’re driving somewhere different, even if you’re in a neighborhood you visit frequently.
Teens are likely to drive in the dark after they get their license, so it is important to practice driving at night before they are alone in the car.
Bad road conditions can be scary. They pale in comparison to tackling the road when it’s full of other drivers. Especially when those drivers are irritable and just want to get home!
Rush-hour driving is a great lesson that is paying close attention to what other drivers are doing on the road. Student drivers should drive in downtown areas to practice slowing down and not slamming on the brakes. As well as driving on the interstate during rush hour to learn how to keep up with the flow of traffic.
Driving on a warm, dry, sunny day is an excellent way for brand-new drivers to get acquainted with the road. However, road conditions are very rarely perfect. By driving in all these common road conditions, student drivers can better prepare to take the wheel when they get their license.