Getting Started

By: Nicole

This page outlines some of the habits drivers should develop.  During behind-the-wheel lessons, you should become more and more comfortable with each of these procedures.  They are especially important to keep in mind when taking the road test.



-As you walk toward the car, let your eyes gather important information about the condition of your car

-Perform the circle test by walking around the entire car and looking for any problems



1. Are there people, animals, or objects that may interfere with moving the car?

2. Is there damage to the body of the car that you have not noticed before?

3. Is there fluid that has leaked from the engine on the ground under the car?

4. Are the headlights, taillights, windows, and outside mirror clean and functioning properly?

5. Are the tires properly inflated?

Remember to ALWAYS check your vehicle for these five items before entering your car.











 1. Did you load people and packages from the curb side when possible?

2. Did you look carefully for approaching traffic before leaving the curb? 

3. As you unlocked the door, did you look carefully to determine when to safely open the door?  Did you open the door only enough to enter safely?

4. Did you enter quickly and
make the passengers do the same? 



Once in the car, could you, without coaching, complete the following steps within one minute?






1. Did you know how to properly place the key in the ignition switch?

2. Did you check to see that all doors are locked?

3. Did you adjust your seat properly for best car control? (Be sure to do this before adjusting the mirrors and seat belts)  Could you see over the steering wheel?  Could you see the ground 12 feet in front of your car?

4. Do you arms feel comfortable in a 9-and-3 o'clock position on the steering wheel?  Can your right foot reach both the brake and accelerator easily?

5. Did you turn your head, not your body, to adjust your side-view mirrors?  Were you able to adjust the driver's side mirror so that you could see the tip of the front door handle in the lower sight of the mirror?

6. Did you look out the front windshield, then turn your eyes, not your head, to look into your rear-view mirror?

7. Did you check the insides of the windows to see if they needed defrosting or cleaning?

8. Did you remove books, packages and other objects from areas where they will block your view or will shift about if you stopped quickly?

9. Did you adjust the air vents for good ventilation?

10. Did you fasten your safety belts properly?

11. Did you turn on the wipers and headlights if it is dark or precipitating?



1. Make sure you are in park

2. Make sure the parking brake is set

3. Place your left foot on the brake pedal

4. Turn the ignition to start



1. Make sure path is clear by turning and looking back- NEVER depend solely on rear view mirrors

2. Check for pedestrians and less conspicuous vehicles like bicycles and mopeds

3. Give the proper signal and drive with caution