The preparation for your Florida driver's license requires a lot of practice, both in the driver's seat and as a passenger. However, learning to drive is more than just learning how to pull away and park. You'll need to know how to perform several basic driving maneuvers before an examiner signs off on your license. Practicing these skills will go a long way to preparing you for your Florida road test.
Purpose of the Florida Road Test
The main purpose of the Florida road test is to ensure that drivers are fit to operate a car on Florida roads. It tests basic driving abilities any driver would need to reach their destination safely. The test is also a standardized way to ensure that all drivers are made aware of the basic rules of the road.
Skills That Are Tested During the Road Driving Test
For the Florida road driving test, you'll be tested on how you handle a series of maneuvers. This is what you'll need to prepare:
1. Your Parking Skills
Parking skills are important to know as you'll need them as long as you drive. You'll be tested on your ability to park with two tests: straight-up drive-in parking and parking on a gradient. The examiner will mark you on your ability to come to a complete stop in the center of the bay, with enough space on either side for the driver and passengers to disembark. No part of the car should stick out into the road.
When you're parked on a gradient, the car needs to remain still. You'll be tested both uphill and downhill, and with and without the curb. Floridians will be happy to know that parallel parking is not a requirement to pass your test! However, it's a useful skill to know nonetheless.
2. Turning and Backing Up
Your driving ability is tested in several ways. There's the three-point-turn that tests your ability to turn around in a tight space, usually around 20 to 40 feet.
Your test also includes the ability to back up a distance of 50 feet while looking out of the back window. Be sure not to use the rearview mirror or other driving aides such as a rearview camera.
The examiner also wants to see whether you remember to signal the last 100 feet before you turn, whether that is into another street, parking bay, or lane. You may be tested on electronic and hand signals.
3. Stopping Safely
You will need to know what to do when you approach a stop sign. The examiner will check whether you start slowing down on the approach and come to a complete stop before the line. You will need to check whether it's safe to drive off before you get into motion again.
You will also need to know how to approach an intersection. If the traffic light is red and you've come to a complete stop, it's only safe to drive off again when the light is green and the intersection has cleared.
Finally, your instructor may also tell you to make an emergency stop. You'll need to do this quickly and safely to get full points.
4. Crossing Traffic Lanes (and Staying in the Right Lane)
Safety is an important aspect of your driver's license road test and your approach to a crossing tops the list. You need to get into the right lane and check to see whether it's safe to approach.
Your examiner will also check your yield right-of-way approach. Whether this is at a traffic circle or a pedestrian crossing, brush up on these rules.
While out on the road, you will need to know how to remain in your lane and which lane is the proper lane to drive in. When you pass other cars, the instructor will check if you follow safety guidelines. You will also be required to keep a safe following distance. These are important driving habits to build well before you get your license.
5. Proper Driving Positioning
Finally, there's your overall posture. It's important to have your seat upright and the right distance from the steering column. Keep your hands in the right position and on the steering wheel and keep your arms tucked close to your body.
Hone Your Driving Skills
The Florida driver's license road test is designed to get you road ready and aware of safety issues that may arise. That said, it's not the only way to sharpen road skills. Learn more about your state's road rules with our online driver's ed courses.