Ten Tips for Taking Your Drive Test

It’s time to take the Colorado Drive Test! No matter how old you are or how long you’ve been driving, everyone is understandably nervous on test day. Here are ten tips to help make test day stress free.

  1. STOP

Come to a complete stop at both stop signs and right turns on a red light. Rolling or incomplete stops are a traffic violation. You’ll know you’ve fully stopped when your wheels stop moving. It’s amazing how slow you can go and NOT stop. If you have a tendency to roll through stop signs, then count to three after you think you’ve stopped. 

  1. DON’T SPEED.

Don’t go above the posted speed limit. Be especially careful in construction and school zones. In an active school zone, one to two m.p.h. above the speed limit in an active school zone is a traffic violation. Three m.p.h. above is an automatic fail!

3. SEARCH

Look BOTH left and right when approaching intersections. Check your rear view or side view mirrors for traffic behind you after you’ve turned or changed lanes.  A good habit is to check one of your rear view mirrors every five to eight seconds. 

4. — USE CORRECT STEERING TECHNIQUE

 In Colorado, there are  three accepted hand positions on your steering wheel. Thinking of your steering wheel as a clock fac, the three accepted positions are 10 and 2 and 9 and 3 (required if you have air bags) and 8 and 4. Don’t steer with one hand. Use hand-over-hand or push-pull sterring through turns. If you use hand-over-hand, don’t keep your forearm in front of the airbag during a turn. You want to leave that area as clear as possible. 

5. — USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL

Turn on your turn signal at least 3 seconds before turns, lane changes and merging.  After the turn, don’t forget to turn it off manually if it hasn’t done so automatically.

6. WATCH THE GAP

Maintain a good gap between your car and the car in front of you. (Maintain at least a 3-second following distance.) At stop signs and stop lights, you should be able to see the rear wheels of the car in front of you touching the ground. 

7. STAY IN YOUR LANE

Keep in your lane during turns; turn into the same lane from which you started. Don’t cross over double yellow lines (unless you’re turning into an alley, private driveway or parking lot) and stay in the center of your lane. 

8. YIELD THE RIGHT OF WAY BEFORE TURNING. 

Make sure to yield to oncoming traffic before turning! 

9. YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY FAIL THE TEST IF YOU… 

Have an accident, endanger another person or vehicle, engage in reckless driving or excessive speeding, follow another car too closely, turn the wrong way onto a one way street, lose control of your car, run a red light or stop sign, and fail to stop for a school bus. 

10. REMEMBER TO BREATHE! 

Take your time. Slow down. The test is not a race. Remembering to breathe deeply will help you relax which will give you better test results. If you fail, it’s not the end of the world! You can test again. If this happens, as hard as it may be and as upset as you may feel, listen to the examiner as they will review the test with you and give you powerful tips to help you next time. 

Good luck and see you on the road!

The Zipper Merge – Are You Doing It Right?

Are you familiar with the term zipper merge?  It might be better called “cutting in line the proper way”. OK, so what then IS the zipper merge? If you’ve driven any amount of time, you have experienced it. Most zipper merges in Denver are commonly found in construction zones where two lanes merge into one. You know what happens – everyone tries to get into the open lane and out of the closing lane as soon as possible. You’re trying to be respectful and do the right thing, however, doing this is not good for traffic flow and nor is this the way it is intended to occur.

Once you’ve successfully merged early on, you curse the person for driving past on your right to get to the front of the line to merge. How inconsiderate, you think! Well, surprisingly, that other driver is actually doing it right!! Traffic flows more quickly and smoothly when cars in the open lane allow and permit cars from the closing lane to enter the open lane. It’s best done one car at a time. More and more states across the country, including Colorado, are encouraging drivers to use the zipper merge through signs showing how and when to merge. Ideally, you want the merge to be a smooth transition and not sudden.

So, with the zipper merge, if you are in the open lane, your lane will be shorter. If you find yourself in the closing lane, you will be moving more quickly. Try it. You’ll like it, and so will your fellow travelers!

Denver Driving School Can Help!

As one of the most well-respected driving schools in Colorado and Denver, specifically, Learn To Drive Colorado is here to help you learn the rules of the road and the best practices to utilize when driving.  We will help to ensure not only your own safety but also that of the drivers around you.  Topics such as the Zipper Merge and other more obscure maneuvers are covered in our 30 hour Denver driving school program.  In addition, we will take you on the road and provide you or your teen with the practical experience they will need to ensure they are practicing various driving maneuvers properly.

In addition to offering drivers ed classes to Denver teens, Learn To Drive Colorado also has classes for adults who are trying to sharpen up on their defensive driving skills.  We even have classes for international drivers who are trying to obtain their Colorado drivers license!

Why Utilize A Private Driving School?

Simply put, it saves you time and considerable frustration.  If you apply for your practical driving test at the DMV, you could wait up to 3 MONTHS before they are able to schedule your test.  In addition, merely scheduling the Colorado driving test does NOT ensure that you pass the test!  Imagine failing the driving test and then having to wait another 3 months to try again!  Learn To Drive Colorado is a licensed 3rd party driving test provider located in Denver.  We can sometimes even schedule same-day driving tests if you are in a huge rush!  So why deal with the frustrating, bureaucratic DMV when you can get the same test completed by the smiling faces at Learn To Drive??  Contact us today to learn more and schedule your Denver driving test today!

The Dangers Of Weaving In Colorado Traffic

You’ve seen them. We’ve all seen them: Drivers changing from one lane to another all over the road in the hopes of saving time. They skirt around one slower vehicle after another in the hopes of arriving at their destination earlier. Does all of that weaving in and out help?  And could it potentially be a dangerous practice on Colorado roads and highways?

Does Weaving Save Time?

In August 2014, The MythBusters tested this “traffic myth” to see if it’s actually true. Does weaving in and out of lanes get someone to their destination any quicker? In the episode, they drive two vehicles 46 miles in rush hour traffic from San Francisco to San Jose. One of the cars stays in the same lane the entire time and the other weaves in and out of traffic trying to make better time. In this test, the weaver arrived 2 minutes ahead of time (about 2% faster.)traffic jam in Denver

In another test, they had one car weave in and out of traffic and another four vehicles stay in each of the four other lanes of the highway the entire time. In this test, the weaver still arrived ahead of the others, anywhere from 4% to 25% faster. But, at what cost?

The Real Dangers Of Weaving In Traffic

According to research done by Donald Redelmeir of the University of Toronto and Robert Tibshirani of Stanford, as well as a commuting comparison by David Hyde of “Sound Q’s” on public radio station KUOW-FM, Seattle, it helps a little. You might save a couple of minutes but you arrive more stressed out than you otherwise would when driving calmly and sticking mostly to one lane. More importantly, every lane change triples the likelihood of an accident, and lane jumpers are often wrong when they think the next lane is going faster.

Additionally, the weaver often ends up with a too-short-following-distance to the car just ahead. Rear end accidents are the most common accident in the U.S. and can be easily avoided by increasing your following distance. This is difficult to do when you’re always trying to pass another vehicle and changing lanes constantly.  Many times, in order to change lanes quickly you must tailgate the car in front of you, which can easily end up in an accident.  And, if you do get into an accident, imagine how much longer it will take you to get to your destination!  At Learn To Drive Colorado, we always recommend to our Denver driving school students that you should maintain a safe distance and try to stay relaxed when driving in traffic.  Not only will you arrive safe, but you also won’t be in as bad of a mood!

Lastly, the best drivers are predictable. Changing lanes often can surprise other drivers and is a hazard for everyone else on the road. There’s no need to arrive frazzled, harried and ticked off! So, take a deep breath, enjoy the journey, minimize lane changes and arrive at your destination safe and sound – everyone (including yourself) will be better off!

Our Colorado Driving School

At Learn To Drive Colorado, we are here to help new drivers learn the rules of the road & utilize best practices when driving.  Additionally, we can help rusty drivers brush up on their skills so they feel more comfortable when taking to the congested highways in Denver like i25 or i70.

We offer several different classes and practical assessments.  From our 30-hour teen drivers education course and 4-hour driver awareness program to our popular adult drivers education course, we are sure to have the program you need in order to ensure your safety and competency on the roads in Colorado! We even offer 3rd party driving tests in Colorado so that you don’t have to wait for months to get it done at the DMV!

Contact us today for more information!