Your Parent-Taught Driver’s Ed Driving Hours Cheat Sheet

If you’re doing Texas parent-taught driver’s ed (or PTDE) with your teen, you know there’s a lot of driving involved. Seven hours of in-car observation, seven hours of behind-the-wheel instruction, and 30 hours of behind-the-wheel practice, to be exact. But what exactly are you supposed to be teaching in those 44 hours?

The state of Texas provides parents with a bunch of great resources as part of their PTDE packet. We also have an in-depth lesson plan [link] that breaks down all the skills a driver needs by driving environment (with handy little checkboxes!). 

But sometimes, you just want a quick reference you can keep at hand to make sure you’re covering all the bases. That’s why we combined the state resources, state testing guide, and our own lesson plan to make this driving cheat sheet:


  • Visual inspection of vehicle

  • Check tire pressure

  • Adjust seat and headrest

  • Adjust mirrors

  • Adjust and fasten seat belt

  • Understand dash lights and indicators

  • Locate things necessary to operate vehicle (lights, turn signal, wipers, etc.)

Getting Started

  • Turn vehicle on

  • Change between park, drive, and reverse (with foot on brake)

  • Smoothly put vehicle into motion

  • Drive in a straight line, maintaining position

  • Stop smoothly with no jerk

  • Make right and left turns from a stop

  • Make right and left turns while in motion

  • Back up safely

  • Keep hands on wheel except when backing up

  • Uses mirrors correctly


  • Park in lot

  • Exit parking space

  • Parallel park


  • Turn from correct lane

  • Signal 100 feet before starting turn

  • Use hand-over-hand turning method

  • Make two-, three-, and five-point turns

  • Make u-turns


  • Understand right-of-way at controlled and uncontrolled intersections

  • Stop fully at stop sign before crosswalk or stop line

  • Yield right-of-way to pedestrians

  • Follow traffic signs and lights

Changing Lanes

  • Signal and check blind spot before changing lanes

  • Know how to pass and be passed

  • Stay out of other drivers’ blind spots

Spatial Awareness

  • Understand where the vehicle is relative to other vehicles, people, and obstacles

  • Maintain space cushion

  • Use SEEiT system for space management

Expressway/Freeway Driving

  • Get on and off freeway/expressway

  • Maintain safe speed

  • Leave following distance

  • Be able to pass and change lanes on the freeway/expressway

Following the Law

  • Understand and follow all signs

  • Obey the speed limit

  • Never use phone while driving

  • Don’t drive under the influence

  • Drive defensively

  • Follow laws for driving with a learner permit

  • Stop/move for emergency vehicles

Special Skills

  • Night driving

  • City driving

  • Driving in congestion

  • Driving in inclement weather (including knowing when not to drive)

  • What to do if the car skids, malfunctions, or blows a tire

You can see at a glance all of the skills a driver needs to pass the driving test (and be a great driver!). Feel free to download this little fella and keep it in the car for your driving practice days.

Want even more resources? Check out our comprehensive PTDE guide. It has everything from calendars to lesson plans to tips for giving gentle feedback to your new driver. Good luck out there, friend! You’re that much closer to quitting your job as family chauffeur.

Skip The Classroom and Take Your Drivers Ed Course Online with Aceable!

Find Your Course Now
Audrey Ference