The behind-the-wheel road skills test is the hardest part of getting a driver’s license for many people. However, everyone must take this test, along with the learner's permit course, before being issued their full license. The advanced practice of the seven most important driving skills will give you the confidence and experience to pass the Florida road skills test on your first attempt.
7 Skills to Practice Before Taking the Florida Road Test
1. The Three-Point Turn
This driving maneuver requires you to turn your car around in an area approximately 35 feet (10.7 meters) in diameter. Also known as a K-turn or a Y-turn, this driving technique involves using forward and reverse gears to turn around without making a U-turn.
Parallel parking is no longer required on the Florida driver’s road test. However, you still must successfully park your car in the center of a straight parking space, and back out again.
3. Backing Up
You will need to back your car up in a straight line for approximately 50 feet (15.25 meters). You must turn your head to the rear as you complete this maneuver, and not rely on your rear-view mirror.
4. Sudden Stops
Be prepared to stop quickly and smoothly while driving at 20 miles per hour. Also, be prepared to stop fully at stop signs, red lights, and road hazards.
5. Signaling and Turning
During the test, you will be asked to turn at corners and intersections. You must use your turn signals correctly 100 feet (30.5 meters) before the turn, safely enter the correct lane for making the turn, and complete the turn when safe and allowed by traffic lights and regulations.
6. Lane Changes
Be sure you know how to use your turn indicator signals before making changes between lanes. Look in mirrors before switching lanes, but also look to the side to check your “blind spot” before entering the other lane.
7. Defensive Driving and Safety
Be sure you know your vehicle and how to use and adjust all the mirrors, inside and outside. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles and pedestrians while on the road. Be alert and focus on driving. Know how to use your car’s emergency brake, hazard lights, and headlights, and be prepared for common roadside emergencies.
Practicing to Pass the Florida Road Skills Test
A driver’s training course can give you all the skills you need to pass the Florida road test. You can also have a family member or friend who is an experienced driver with a valid license to supervise you while you learn. Practice all of the maneuvers multiple times in a safe location, and make sure you are familiar with everything in the Florida Driver’s Handbook before you take the Florida road test.
Those Who Don’t Need to Take the Test
If you are applying for your learner’s permit or a restricted driver’s license in Florida, you don’t have to take a road test yet. You can get your permit after completing a drug and alcohol traffic education course and passing the written section of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) test online.