6 Hour Behind-the-Wheel Program and Lesson Plan


Lesson 1: Lesson 1 is 1 hour. The student’s permit will be signed by the instructor (if the student is a minor). We begin this lesson with reviewing the controls in the vehicle (the signal lever, brake, gas, etc.), ensure that the student has secured their seatbelt, and make sure that the student has properly adjusted their mirrors, seat position, and have proper hand position on the steering wheel.

The student will drive in their neighborhood and we will work on proper steering position and smooth braking and accelerating. The student will be assisted with learning how to make smooth turns, stops at stop signs, slowing for speed bumps, scanning for hazards, remaining within the posted speed limit, and staying on the correct side of the road.

We will then proceed to main roads if the student demonstrates that he/she is ready. We will work on intersection evaluation for hazards (and looking both ways before entering an intersection), steering control, proper position in his/her lane, and smooth stopping behind the limit line/crosswalk. The student will also be introduced to lane changing and merging (with the instructor assisting with checking blind spots and confirming that it is clear to change lanes/merge).

At the end of this lesson, the instructor will review all of the basic driving skills associated with safe driving with the student and parent(s) (if the student is a minor). Students should practice for 5-10 hours prior to proceeding to lesson 2 in order to develop the skills taught in lesson 1.

Lesson 2: Lesson 2 is 1 hour. Students will be given the opportunity to warm up in their own neighborhood for about 5 to 10 minutes, and then we will head out onto the main roads to practice in heavier traffic.

This lesson will specifically work on SMOG (signal, mirrors, over shoulder, go), and we will work on multi-lane turns at intersections. During this lesson, students will work on the use of signaling, looking in the appropriate mirrors, and checking their blind spots before making any lane changes, merging, turning, pulling over to the side of the road, or entering into the road. Students will also be instructed on proper turning speed, lane position, and steering control (in lesson 1, much of this is instructor-assisted).

If the student has NOT progressed to a level that enables the instructor to proceed with this lesson plan, most of lesson 2 will be spent reviewing the basics of safe driving skills once again. It is very important that students receive the suggested practice time of 5-10 hours before proceeding to this lesson. Before proceeding to lesson 3, it is recommended that students receive 10-15 hours of practice with the aforementioned skills.

Lesson 3: Lesson 3 is 1 hour and 45 minutes. During this lesson, students will be taken onto the freeway and will drive in the Downtown Sacramento area. Time permitting, instructors will practice merging onto several freeways, maintaining the posted speed limit, staying centered within the driving lane, watching for other vehicles merging onto the freeway and vehicles making lane changes, avoiding driving in other driver’s blind spots, scanning for hazards, and safe lane changes.

While driving within the downtown area, the student will be instructed on scanning for pedestrians and bicyclists, maintaining an appropriate speed, staying centered within his/her lane, navigating left-turn-yield lights and round-abouts, and scanning ahead for brake lights and traffic signals.

Lesson 4: Lesson 4 is 1 hour. During this lesson, instructors will facilitate a “mock” version of the DMV Behind-the-Wheel driving test, and the student’s readiness to be scheduled to take the behind-the-wheel driving test will be assessed. The instructor and student will work on driving within residential neighborhoods and main roads while observing all traffic laws and safe driving skills. Specifically, the student’s speed will be carefully monitored, as well as lane position, steering control, signal use, smooth acceleration and braking, looking left-right-left at stop signs, use of SMOG, scanning for hazards, and careful backing up in a straight line along a curb.

If it is determined that the student has developed the skills necessary to pass the DMV Behind-the-Wheel drive test, the instructor will then proceed with scheduling the test. If the student is determined to NOT have successfully developed his/her driving skills, the instructor reserves the right to decide to delay scheduling the behind-the-wheel driving test until the student is able to demonstrate the ability to independently drive safely, both offensively and defensively.

Lesson 5: Lesson 5 is 1 hour and 15 minutes. This is the DMV behind-the-wheel test day!!! Students will be picked up and will drive over to the DMV office location where the instructor will once again facilitate a “mock” version of the DMV behind-the-wheel test (PLEASE NOTE: Instructors are NOT permitted to take students on the exact test route that DMV Examiners use to administer the behind-the-wheel test). Instructors will identify mistakes that the student has made so that the student is adequately prepared to take their drive test.

At the end of this lesson, the student and instructor will check into the DMV where the student will use the instructor’s vehicle to take the behind-the-wheel driving test. The instructor will issue a Certificate of Completion to any minor testing out.

Adult "Brush-up" Lessons:

Adult brush-up lessons are for those 18 years old or older. Lessons are 1 hour each and are intended for those adults who just simply need to polish their driving skills. We offer up to 2 brush-up lessons, but any lessons past that will need to consider selecting Program 1. This/ these lesson(s) can be used to regain confidence on the roads, or as a reminder of safe driving habits and rules of the road.