Top Tips from Driving Instructors on Surviving Your Driving Lessons

Driving lessons can be stressful for both the student and instructors, especially when you're starting. Accept the fact that you're going to make mistakes. Your driving instructor is there to protect you and make sure you stay safe while guiding you to learn from those mistakes.

You can make the most out of your lessons by following these tips.

Stay Focused and Alert

When taking driving lessons, the most important thing to do is remain focused and alert. Turn off cell phones, limit chatter, and focus on the task at hand. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents.

You also want to be well-rested so you can stay alert during the time you're behind the wheel. Being rested also puts you in the right frame of mind for lessons to be impactful. If you’re tired or overly stressed out, it can be difficult to concentrate.

Provide Feedback

The best driving instructors will solicit feedback. If they don’t, take the lead, and don’t be shy about discussing your experiences. If you’re nervous, uncomfortable, or feeling significant stress, experienced instructors can help ease your concerns — but only if they know about them.

“Establishing a comfortable and collaborative relationship between the instructor and students can make the learning experience enjoyable for everyone involved,” said Stefan Kleinekoort, The Driver Advisor.

Also, different people learn in different ways. When your instructor better understands your needs, they can customize their approach to help you succeed. If you’re uncertain about anything, ask.

“Building a rapport with students and showing genuine care for their safety and progress can go a long way in cultivating a strong sense of trust between instructor and student," said Kleinekoort.

Know Your Pedals

When first starting with driving lessons, it’s not uncommon for young drivers to mix up the pedals or fail to react quickly enough to hit the brakes. It sounds simple enough, but moving your feet from gas to brake and back takes practice to avoid jarring stops.

A lot of students think they’ll be fine because they have “lots of experience” driving in video games. However, real life is far different than the flat screen and has much more serious consequences.

Consider Online Training

Learning from the DMV handbook is frustrating. Using online training courses, such as Aceable, can make the lessons stick and ensure everything is covered. 

“It makes for much safer driving lessons,” said Patti, driving instructor, and Aceable’s California Operations anchor. “You already know the rules of the road and what all the signs mean.”


Don’t think that just because you’ve passed the test to get your learner’s permit and had a few lessons that you're road-ready. Like anything else in life, it takes practice and experience to improve performance.

When driving, there are a nearly limitless number of things that can happen. A deer can suddenly jump in front of your car. Another driver can run a stop sign or red light. The glare from a slick roadway at night can cause you problems seeing. Each of these may be firsts for you and challenging even for experienced drivers.

The more time you spend practicing, the better prepared you’ll be to deal with the unexpected.

Be Realistic

You must also be realistic. It can be frustrating, especially for high achievers, when they can’t do everything right the first time.

Give yourself a break and understand that learning to drive is a process. No matter how fast you catch on, you need time behind the wheel to understand the nuances of driving that go beyond recognizing street and highway signs.

“This will help reduce the pressure of feeling overwhelmed and make the day more efficient," said Kleinekoort.

Choosing the Right Driving Instructor

“The best way to evaluate a driving instructor is to do research and ask questions,” said Kleinekoort. “Start by looking online to read ratings and reviews from past students. You can also look at the instructor's profile page to see how long they've been teaching, any related qualifications they have, and any specialties or areas of expertise.”

You should also meet the instructor beforehand to make sure they are a good fit. You want an instructor that is patient and doesn’t get angry or frustrated with mistakes. While you want a driving instructor that’s positive and enthusiastic, they can’t guarantee that you will pass your driving test the first time.

“Look for an instructor who is flexible and can offer you a variety of learning options," advises Kleinekoort. "Some instructors allow you to book lessons online, while others offer a variety of teaching packages. Consider the cost of the package and make sure it is within your budget.”

Aceable offers state-approved and certified online driving courses to help you learn the skills you need to become a safe driver. Check out our online driver ed courses today.

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