7 Skills to Practice Before Your Texas Driving Test

Are you feeling a bit nervous about your Texas driving test? The best way to calm those nerves is to prepare. Here's a quick list of seven driving skills you should practice in the weeks leading up to the big day. These are all part of the test, so getting more confident with them can help you pass the first time. Remember, practice makes perfect!

1. Backing Up

Backing up is an essential skill to have as a driver. During the test, you will be asked to slowly back up the car for 60 feet in a straight line. You can turn, put your right arm on the back of the right front chair and look back the whole time, or you may use your backup camera or rearview mirrors. To practice, look for an open area, like an empty parking lot.

2. Parallel Parking

If you fear parallel parking, you’re not alone. However, it's a skill you can master by understanding the proper technique and practicing. How?

  • Choose a streetside parking spot that’s bigger than your car and between two parked cars.

  • Signal and pull up next to the car parked in front of the space. 

  • Ensure you won't disrupt oncoming traffic, then turn your front wheels to the right and back up to the curb slowly.  

  • Once your front seat is opposite the back bumper of the car in front of you, turn your wheel to the left. 

  • Back up toward the car behind you, careful not to touch it.

  • Lastly, straighten your front wheels and center the car. You should end parked between six and 18 inches from the curb or road's edge.

3. Turning

Turning is another skill you're going to want to get down pat. While it seems simple, it's the culprit in many accidents. Being so, practice these steps to a safe turn. First, plan ahead and never make a last-second turn. Look over each shoulder to be aware of all other vehicles. When clear, move into the proper lane to make the turn, if necessary.

Then, give the proper signal at least 100 feet before the turn. As you're approaching the turn, be sure to slow down so you can make the turn safely. Stay in the proper lane through the turn and do not brake while turning. Finish the turn and stay in the proper lane. Be sure to practice left and right turns!

4. Signal Use

We’ve talked about signals already during parallel parking and turning. Signals include your flashers and turn signals

Other scenarios where you would use signals include when you’re changing lanes, or even when you’re pulling out to start your test. 

Remember, signals are required by Texas law so be sure you're using them every time. 

5. Quick Stop

Stopping quickly is a skill every driver needs.

During your Texas driving test, you will be asked to drive about 20 mph and then stop your car as quickly as possible. The key is, you don't want to skid your brakes. This is another skill that can be good to practice in an empty parking lot. 

6. Changing Lanes

You will be asked to change lanes during your Texas driving test. To do so, ensure you look back, and not just in the rearview mirror. Physically turn your neck around to look.

Wait until there is a clear gap in traffic. Don’t rush it. When you’re ready, turn on your signal and smoothly transition into the other lane.

7. Scanning and Maneuvering

Your ability to see what other drivers are doing and foresee problems on the road before they happen are essential skills. You must continually scan the road during your Texas driving test.

You also must be able to safely maneuver around the other drivers and situations on the road. 

Get Your Texas Driver's License!

Ready to get your Texas driver's license? If you're 24 or younger, you'll need to complete a driver education course first. At DriversEd.com, we make it easy and convenient. Our courses are 100% online,  state-approved, and come with a comprehensive study guide and practice tests. Plus, we can connect you with behind-the-wheel driving lessons near you. 

Learn more about online driver's ed in Texas!

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