Before You Start to Drive
How Can You Prepare to Drive?
Do Your Homework
- Learn about the District of Columbia’s licensing process, which has special rules for teens. Designed to gradually develop your driving skills, the program could take a year or more to complete.
- Learn about the financial and legal responsibilities associated with driving, especially crashes.
- Talk to your parents. They have lots of driving experience to share with you.
Be a Smart Passenger
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Observe drivers, road signs and roadway conditions.
- Ask your parents questions about decisions they make behind the wheel.
- Even if the law allows you to ride with a teen driver, avoid riding with your friends until they become safer, more experienced drivers.
- Be a helpful passenger. Don’t distract drivers or encourage teen drivers to take risks.
- If you’re the passenger of a teen who is speeding, texting on a cell phone or otherwise behaving recklessly, speak up. Tell your friend to drive safely or ask to be dropped off.
Maintain good grades. Once you get your license and are ready to drive you will need auto insurance. Most insurance companies offer lower rates for teens who have a “B” or higher grade average, so your good grades could help your parents control insurance costs.
Keep reading. By visiting this site and looking around, you’ve already taken a first step toward learning to drive, so keep reading!
- Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) – Learn more about the licensing process.
- Parent-Teen Driving Agreement – Signing a formal agreement with your parent helps in multiple ways.
- Becoming the New Driver in Your Family – This brochure outlines tips and responsibilities of being a safe teen driver.
- Driver-ZED – Offered by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Driver-ZED is a computer-based program to help you practice driving.