While most people learn to drive when the law first allows them to get a learner’s permit, many people put off learning to drive until they are adults. This may be because they have plenty of public transportation and no need to drive, because they do not have the resources to pay for driver’s education courses (which are required by some states in order to get a license), or they do not have access to a car they can practice on. Any of these situations may result in an adult who does not know how to drive but wants to learn to drive, now that those situations have changed.
If you want to learn to drive, we here encourage that! Learning to drive as an adult is much easier than learning to drive as a teenager. If you are taking the steps towards learning to drive and buying your Kia, here are some tips to jumpstart the process:
1. Gets your learner’s permit. Not all states require adults learning to drive to have learner’s permits. Some will have an age threshold that once you cross, all you have to do is go into the MVD and take the driver’s test. Before you start this process, it’s important to figure out what steps you need to take to make sure you are following the right procedure. Even if your state does just allow you to take the driver’s test, without logging any official hours, it is still a good idea to practice and maybe even take a driver’s education class before taking that test.
2. Find someone who will let you practice on their vehicle every day. Learning to drive, like learning to just about anything else, is about building hand-eye coordination and muscle memory. The more opportunities to actually drive that you have, the more comfortable you will feel behind the wheel and the less likely you are to make a mistake during your exam. Practicing as often as possible is the only way to build your skills and prepare for your test (if your state requires you to take one). Find someone who will let you drive their car and will help give you some instruction. Learning to drive isn’t as intuitive and it might seem at first, so some encouragement and tips can be helpful.
3. Consider taking a driver’s education class. This might be something that your state requires, but in most states, once you turn eighteen, you are no longer required to take a class in order to take your driver’s test and get your full license. Even if this is the case, you might still consider taking a class. These classes are designed not just to teach you how to operate a car (in fact, some classes might not even get you inside of a car), but also to learn to rules of the road. Learning these rules is an integral part of learning how to be safe driver.
4. Consider hiring a private driving instructor. If you don’t have a friend who is available to let you practice in their car and give you lessons, a good alternative is to hire a private driving instructor. This is a teacher who will usually bring their own car and teach you how to drive (both the mechanics of operating a car and the laws and customs of the road. A private driving instructor can be a powerful resource, especially if you might feel awkward taking a driver’s ed class that might be filled with fifteen and sixteen-year-olds.
5. Get your own car. If you are having difficulty finding a car to practice with and you are learning to drive because you need a car to get you to and from work or other locations, purchasing your own car, before you have your full license, might be a good idea. If you don’t have your full license, you probably won’t be allowed to test drive the car yourself, but bringing an experienced driver along on your car buying escape can be a good way to get a sense of whether or not that car is right for you. Kia vehicles are often the perfect choices for first-time buyers and inexperienced drivers, as they have a wide variety of safety features.
6. Understand that driving is not really that big of a deal. One of my best friends from university didn’t start learning to drive until she was twenty-four. Because I’d grown up in a rural area and my parents wanted to make sure we could “get into town” on our own if there was ever an emergency, I’d been driving for more than twelve years by the time she started learning. Part of the reason she avoided learning for so long was because she feared the entire process; other drivers, piloting a car, knowing what to do, etc. In reality, driving is all about paying attention to the road and building the muscle memory so that your body knows what to do in a car. It’s not as hard or as big of a deal as it’s often made out to be.
7. Just jump in! No matter the reason you’ve put of learning to drive until now, it’s time to set aside the excuses and the fears and learn this very useful skill. While not everyone lives in a part of the country where a car is absolutely necessary, knowing how to drive could prevent an emergency. All it takes is practice and practicing can be fun!