8480 Baltimore National Pike, Suite 319, Ellicott City, MD, 21043
CALL US: 443-355-4238

Driving Basics

When you first start learning to drive, it can seem a little overwhelming. We know that but don’t worry – you’re in good hands! Just about everyone learns to drive at some point and most people enjoy a completely safe and enjoyable drive every single time they get behind the wheel. To get to that point of feeling comfortable behind the wheel, however, will take significant preparation and practice.

Please email or call us if you have any questions about the information below. If you would like to schedule a session after reviewing these details, we encourage you to view our pricing to learn which package is best for you.

Now here are 10 primary topics you will want to study and can expect to be covered when receiving instruction from our driving school.

Traffic Laws:

There are many driving rules as well as penalties for not following these rules. These penalties can be as small as receiving a verbal warning from a police officer or they could be as major as spending time in jail. Since the stakes are high, you should expect to learn about the numerous traffic laws that you are required to obey, to include: where to stop at a stop sign or stop line, roadway markings, traffic control devices, yield signs, speed limit signs and much more.

Traffic Signs:

When you first start driving, you will notice just how many different types of signs there are along the roadways you will be traveling. It may seem confusing at first but over time, you will become familiar with the colors, shapes and sizes of these signs as well as the various phrases placed on them. You will react almost instinctually but it all starts with studying the signs first.

Car Basics:

If you did not know about cars before, you will learn the fundamentals directly through driving instruction. Lights, brakes, gears, seatbelts, windshield wipers and much more are all crucial parts of a car for a driver. To operate a motor vehicle, you will need to study the basics of how they work and how drivers use them.

Defensive Driving:

Once you get behind the wheel, you are expected to act responsibly. By driving “defensively” you are committing yourself to drive non-aggressively on the roadways, to being courteous to other drivers and to obeying the rules of the road. Defensive driving saves lives, time and money and is promoted by the United States National Safety Council.


Students are often surprised by the challenges of parking. Parallel parking, large garage parking, home garage parking, parking on hills – these are some of the circumstances involving parking. In all cases, parking requires effective command of your vehicle but there are specific techniques you will study to cover these different parking circumstances.


U-Turns, K-Turns, turn signals, changing lanes – these are some of the major subjects covered in turning. Turning can also be tricky for new drivers because you may find yourself turning from one lane into another at an inappropriate speed. Throughout our course, we will practice turning to ensure that your approach to the turn, lane positioning and speed within the turn are done correctly in all situations.


Speed is a big topic as well. Some drivers will drive too fast for weather and roadway conditions while others will drive too slowly on our large highways. Some drivers will drive too fast in specially designated areas such as school zones while others will have trouble maintaining their correct speed in a residential neighborhood. Speed is regulated by signs and the natural flow of traffic, which do not always agree with each other. Pay close attention to the instruction you receive about speed. The details are important and may help prevent you from receiving a ticket or becoming involved in an accident.

Blind Spots:

Most car mirrors say “things in mirror may appear closer than they are” and blind spots create even more confusion because these are locations you can’t even see by looking into your car mirrors. You will need to learn the relative distance of other vehicles to your own car and remember to use head checks to view the locations you cannot see directly with your mirrors. These head checks are critical before you can safely change lanes, merge or turn in another direction.

Special Conditions:

Special conditions such as rainy or snowy weather, darkness, icy roads and fog can affect how you drive. During the course of your instruction, you will study and be asked how you should react when you come upon these difficult driving conditions. Don’t be afraid to ask your driving instructor questions about how to drive in difficult conditions. The more you learn now, the better driver you will become!

Road Test:

We’re proud that well over 96% of all our students pass their road test on their first try. We have prepared a brief guide especially for new drivers who want to start preparing now – you can view it here.

Whew! It might look like a lot, but it’s all easy to pick up once you have received quality instruction and practice. Contact us to learn more or review our free guide on choosing the right driving school. We are here to help in case you need anything. Good luck!