Nine Things You Need to Know Before Getting Behind the Wheel


Turning 16 brings a whole new freedom to a teenager’s life: the driver’s license. Running errands for your parents never sounded so good and being able to go grab lunch whenever you want makes your life so much more exciting, but with great power comes great responsibility. Here are nine things you must know before driving for the first time, especially if you want to ease your parent’s mind.

1.  Stay calm and don’t panic

Getting behind the wheel for the first time might be one of the most stressful things ever. You are not only risking your life, but also everyone else’s on the road. The important thing to remember is to not panic when something goes wrong because that will make things worse.

2. Stay alert

It is so hard to keep all of your focus on the road, especially when you feel like you’re looking at the same thing for miles. According to, one out of three drivers text while driving, making them 23 times more likely to crash. If you just stay alert, and reduce your distractions, driving becomes a lot less scary and a lot safer.

3. Know the rules of the road

It is a requirement for all Virginia drivers to take a driver’s ed class before getting their license. It is important to pay attention in this class because this is when you learn all of the rules for driving. If you don’t know the rules of the road, you will be so much more likely to make a mistake and cause an accident.

4. Save up

Driving is expensive. Between driving classes, car insurance, new cars, and gas, driving can really break the bank for you and your parents. Talk to your parents before getting your license about who’s paying for what. This will give you time to save up for whatever you have to pay for.

5. Be considerate of other cars

One thing that is guaranteed to make other drivers mad and could potentially cause an accident is cutting another car off. As you’re driving through a busy parking lot or sitting at a four-way stop, always be the bigger person. Good things come to those who wait.

6. Listen to your parents

At this stage of life, no one really wants to listen to their parents. However, your parents know a lot more about driving than you do and they most likely have great advice that can only help you. Sure, they might yell at you for running a stop sign, but it’s for the best.

7. Know the roads around you

Even though we’ve all driven on these roads thousands of times, you probably still can’t point to Nokes Blvd or Cascades Parkway. Getting places will be a lot easier if you just learn the roads now.

8. Download Waze or utilize Google Maps

Waze and Google Maps will become your best friends. These apps will get you from point A to point B with ease, and all you have to do is listen. It’s hard to get lost with these apps on hand.

9. Be confident

The most important thing to remember when driving is to just be confident in your abilities. Getting behind the wheel is terrifying, but if you are nervous, you could mess up, and your parents might not trust you ever again.