Different people learn skills in different ways. What one person finds easy the next will struggle with. That said, teachers know that some skills – in all subjects, are just more difficult than others, but they anticipate those difficulties. They work with their students to ensure mastery, finding ways through, around, and over the difficulties.

Driving requires the ability to engage in a variety of skills, all at the same time. Those skills involve using your senses and coordinating your body, allowing you to safely get where you want to go. Some of those skills are tougher to learn than others, but your driving school instructor will help you learn to master them—both one at a time and in coordination with all the others.

Manual transmission

Some people will learn to drive in a manual transmission vehicle. Manual transmissions are a challenge to learn driving with because they require very close coordination between both feet and one hand. Some transmissions and clutches are also very sensitive. Bad coordination will mean that the car will jerk as you work to get it into gear.

This puts an extra strain on the clutch, although it won’t go while you’re learning to drive. As one student’s father said to us, however, “A clutch going earlier is just the price of having a student driver in the house.” Relax and learn.

Once you have the coordination down, you will also need to remember how the road examiner will want you to demonstrate your skills on the manual transmission. Make sure you know how to downshift safely when coming into a turn or stop. The Virginia Driver’ s Manual does not have specific requirements for manual transmissions.

Your Suffolk, Virginia driving school will work with you to learn all the skills you need to pass and excel as a manual transmission driver. As you work through your driving practice, however, keep all these official skills in mind.

Conversations without eye contact

In many cultures, people are expected to make eye contact during a conversation. While the “rules” for eye contact may vary, it generally shows that you are interested in what the other person has to say. The eye contact gives them feedback that you understand, and are engaged with them.

If you are a driver, however, you should not make eye contact while having a conversation. If you look at the other people in the car, you are not paying attention to the road. Your eyes should be paying attention to the road in front of you, as well as to the sides. But they should be moving, scanning the road ahead—sometimes one to two blocks around Suffolk, Chesapeake, and Norfolk—and to the sides. You should not be looking at other people in the car while you talk. They can be a form of distracted driving.

Your Suffolk, Virginia driving school instructor will help you practice this skill. They will be giving you instructions on what to do, and you should not look at them. It’s perfectly fine to ask for an instruction to be repeated. The important driving skill of eyes-on-the-road will keep you safe, and ensure that you will enjoy the company of others for many years to come.

Parallel parking

For many drivers—both new and veteran—parallel parking is a major nightmare. Some people will choose to park farther away from their destination rather than parallel park by backing into the space. Others will only parallel park if two or more consecutive spaces are available.

Parallel parking is one of the driving skills which is a process. Each step works only if the previous steps are completed successfully. One thing to remember, however, is that if the process breaks down, you can simply start all over—after letting people behind you pass.

As you learn to drive in Suffolk and Chesapeake, your driving instructor will work with you to parallel park—not only to pass the test, but to ensure that you will use this valuable skill throughout your driving career. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be much happier—avoiding those long walks to your destination.

Night driving

Night driving is a difficult skill because you can’t see everything you need to see, even with high beams on. Night vision limits our color sense, and we lose a good portion of our ability to see off the sides of the road. We also rely on other drivers to have their lights on—and some forget.

Night driving is not a skill expected on the road test. But it will be a skill you will need to be a safe driver. If you know a few key tricks for night driving, you will be a safe driver.

As you learn to drive around Suffolk, Virginia, make sure you practice night driving with an experienced driver. When possible, schedule several practice driving sessions after dark with your driving instructor, or go out with your parents/spouse after dark to ensure you can make it safely home.

Learning to drive

As you learn to become an excellent driver in Suffolk and the rest of Virginia, you will find that some driving skills come easy to you, and others are tough. There’s no rule about it. Your driving instructor will help you work through the difficult ones, and congratulate you on the easy skills.

Going into your driver’s education course, keep the fact that some things won’t come easy in mind. At the end of it, you will have it all put together, however, and be an excellent driver—the roads will be safer because of you.