Teen’s Driving Lessons

Written By | Doreen Almirol | 20+ years CA DMV Licensed Driving Instructor


Embarking on the journey of becoming a new driver, especially as a teenager or young adult, is a thrilling and transformative experience. To ensure a smooth transition from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat, understanding what to know before, expect during, and do after a driving lesson is crucial. 

Whether you’re going out driving with a driving instructor or any accompanying passenger (i.e. parents, relatives, friends, etc.),we’re here to help.  In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore essential tips from driving instructors to help new teen drivers make the most of their driving lessons.

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1 | Before the Driving Lesson

Familiarize Yourself with the Vehicle:

Before your first lesson, take the time to familiarize yourself with the vehicle. Learn how to adjust mirrors, understand dashboard indicators, and locate essential controls. This basic understanding sets the foundation for a more confident start.


The main dashboard indicator that new drivers should know is the speedometer. Basic controls new drivers should be able to locate and demonstrate use: ignition (how to start the car), foot pedals (brake & gas), steering wheel, turn signals, gear shift lever (park, reverse, drive), emergency/parking brake (how to set & release).

Understand Traffic Laws:

Refresh your knowledge of traffic laws and regulations. Understanding road signs, right of way, and other driving rules not only ensures a smoother learning experience but also contributes to responsible and safe driving habits.

DRIVING INSTRUCTOR TIPS | Practice Rules of the Road

As passengers, new drivers should observe other drivers and how they apply rules of the road while driving. New drivers typically find it easier to execute maneuvers and adhere to rules of the road when the skills are modeled for them.

Embrace a Positive Mindset:

Approach your driving lessons with a positive and open mindset. Confidence comes with practice, so remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. A positive attitude fosters a more enjoyable and effective learning process.


Remember, you’re learning a new skill that is going to pave the way towards adulthood and independence. Just like every milestone in your life, make it fun and memorable!

2 | During the Driving Lesson

Listen and Communicate:

Pay close attention to your driving instructor’s guidance. Listen carefully to instructions, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification. Effective communication with your instructor is crucial for a productive lesson.

Focus on Fundamentals:

Concentrate on mastering the fundamental skills of driving. Practice smooth acceleration, controlled braking, and proper lane changes. These basics lay the groundwork for more complex maneuvers and contribute to overall driving confidence.

Stay Calm and Relaxed:

Nervousness is natural, but try to stay calm and relaxed during your driving lesson. Take deep breaths, and remember that your instructor is there to guide and support you. Relaxation enhances focus and decision-making on the road.

3 | After the Driving Lesson

Reflect on the Experience:

Take a moment to reflect on your driving lesson. Consider what went well and identify areas that need improvement. Reflecting on your experience helps reinforce the lessons learned and prepares you for future sessions.

Set Personal Goals:

Collaborate with your driving instructor to set personal goals for improvement. Whether it’s conquering a challenging maneuver or navigating busier roads, having specific objectives provides direction for your ongoing learning journey.

Practice Regularly:

Practice is key to building confidence and refining your driving skills. Engage in regular supervised practice sessions, gradually expanding to different driving scenarios. The more you practice, the more comfortable and skilled you’ll become behind the wheel.

DRIVING INSTRUCTOR TIPS | Practice Makes Perfect

Give yourself time to progress and improve.  Like every other skill you learn in life (i.e. playing the piano, throwing a football, reading, making right turns, etc), practice will pave the road towards perfection.

“The more you practice, the better you’ll become at something.” – says my mama.

Unleash Your Fullest Driving Potential

Embark on an exhilarating journey of growth and learning as a new driver with Express Driving School. Follow the guidance of experienced instructors to confidently navigate the roads, embracing every moment and honing your skills. Be responsible, stay focused, and relish the liberating freedom of the open road.