Driving Skills Checklist

Driving Skills Checklist | Swerve Driving SchoolTeaching your teen to drive can be a daunting task. There are specific skills required by state testing for each student to know before receiving their license. Here is a checklist you can refer to, to help review concepts and mark where you need to review information or practice a little more. The list is broken into three sections- beginning, intermediate, and advanced driving skills.

Beginning Skills

These skills should be the basic foundations of driving a vehicle. They include steps to complete before driving and maneuvers done in a parking lot, before ever operating a vehicle on the road.

Needs Improvement
Pre-vehicle inspection   
Reading dashboard gauges   
Starting the vehicle   
Smooth steering and movements   
Adjusting and using mirrors   
Accurate maneuvering of vehicle   
Making accurate, smooth turns   
Backing Up   
Driving Posture and positioning   
Smooth and controlled stopping   
Parking in a marked stall   
Turning off the car   


Intermediate Driving Skills

These skills are improved after the basics have been mastered. They are learned and practiced on the road, but not in heavy traffic. Practice should be done once the student has learned the driving laws and what all the signs mean. Master these skills before moving on to the advanced section.

Driving Skill
Needs Improvement
Yields to right of way to vehicles and pedestrians   
Keeps a minimum 2-second following distance   
Anticipates and communicates with other drivers   
Obeys road signs and speed limits   
Uses proper turn signals   
Watches out for possible hazards   
Parking vehicle on curb   
Parking at an incline   
Parking at an angle   
Enters and exits roundabouts correctly   
Enters and exits intersections correctly   
Uses proper passing techniques   
Keeps attention on the road   


Advanced Skills

Each section of driving skills should build on the other. Once the two lists are mastered and the student has become increasingly comfortable behind the wheel, move on to these advanced skills.

Driving Skill
Needs Improvement
Maneuvering in rush hour traffic   
Adjusts driving in bad weather   
Adjusts driving during nighttime hours   
Driving on freeways and highways   
Entering and exiting expressways   
Uses caution around semi-trucks   
Uses caution around motorcycles and bicycles   
Handles complex and multiple driving hazards   
Uses defensive driving techniques   
Looks ahead for escape routes   
Understands emergency procedures   


Once the Skills are Mastered

Not all teens are ready to drive at the same time and some need more help than others. Referring to these lists every so often is a great way to know what skills to work on more so that you both know that they are prepared to move on to the next level of skills. Another way to utilize these lists is to recognize the areas your teen has improved. Take the time to acknowledge areas of improvement and encourage their efforts.

If you are taking adult driving classes to learn how to drive yourself, you can use these lists with the help of a friend, significant other, or just yourself as you practice before a test. No matter what stage of life you are in, these skills are required on driving tests for licensing. Once you have mastered each level you or your teen driver should be ready to take your driving test.

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