Presented next are the Seven Essential Lessons for teaching necessary driving skills. You both, the student and the teacher should review the student guide and the teacher guide. Doubtless, you have discussed and planned for the day when the first lesson will begin. At last, that day has arrived.

The following lessons are designed so that the student builds from skill level to skill level until they are thoroughly versed in all essential skills. These lessons are planned to present a number of skills in each driving experience. It is necessary to complete all the skills in each lesson. In fact, many students will require several repetitions to master the skills in each lesson. The point is to gain mastery. Rushing ahead when material has not been absorbed and learned will only create tension and result in imperfect learning and lack of confidence.

You, the teacher, may wish to spend more than just one session on any lesson when you feel the student needs a firmer mastery of the material. By following the lesson plan enumerated below, the student can go a long way to driving mastery. Each of the lessons will provide you with simple keys to select the proper driving environment to best learn the skills presented. A brief practices and procedures section outlines the plan for the lesson under consideration. Finally, a problem-solving portion notes common problems students have encountered in learning the material.

So, relax and enjoy teaching and learning how to drive, knowing that you can have
complete control of your vehicle. HAPPY DRIVING!


The following lesson will give you some basic driving skills on which to build in future
lessons. You must thoroughly master this material before going on to other lessons.
You will learn the following skills:

1. Identification of all instruments and controls.
2. Starting and stopping.
3. Traveling forward while accelerating.
4. Backing in a straight line.
5. Basic turning.


Use a residential street with little or no traffic. Select a large empty parking lot, or a
deserted street.

1. Locate and identify all instruments and controls before going to the next step.
2. Practice starting, traveling at low speeds in a straight direction and stopping.
3. Practice backing in a straight line.

Mastering the preceding skills will allow you to move on to practicing right and left turns. If you are learning in a stick shift car, make sure you are in a location where you will have enough space to practice slowing the car for the turn and downshifting from third to second. You may want to practice traveling straight and shifting up and then moving on to downshifting in preparation for learning left and right turns.

1. Watch for correct hand positions of the steering wheel.
2. Observe hand-over-hand and or push-pull steering during turns.
3. Check driver’s eyes for correct mirror use and scanning while approaching

Student drivers may make right turns that are too wide and left turns that are too close. Following a right turn they may straighten the car out too slowly. For these and other faults, note them during performance. Following each execution of the maneuvers, give your student feedback. Deliver performance assessments in a balanced manner. For each correction or problem you should also have something positive to say. Repeat until these basic skills have been mastered.


In this lesson you’ll begin to confront some driving situations calling for special responses from you. You’ll consider controlled and uncontrolled intersections and learn to respond to school zones and railway crossings. Since you will be confronting situations that may seem new or awkward, it’s fine.  If you feel uncomfortable, stop the lesson, review that you have learned and come back to this lesson. It may take you a few tries to master the route and its challenges. Don’t worry, take it easy and make your learning fun. You’ll learn:

1. Facing special situations, such as schools and railway crossings.
2. Coping with controlled and uncontrolled intersections.
3. Basic traffic turning.
4. Beginning lane changing.


(Light traffic driving conditions.) Select a two-lane street with little traffic. Choose as
many routes as you can that have uncontrolled intersections (intersections controlled by neither stop signs or lights). Also, choose routes that have sign controlled intersections (stop signs and yield signs), four-way stop intersections, railroad crossing and a school zone. Teachers and students: plan your route carefully with the following skills and maneuvers in mind. This will be your first time in light traffic.


1. After selecting your route for the day, follow your plan, using mostly right turns.
2. Retrace your route, traveling in the opposite direction, completing left turns.
3. During your journey, change lanes a few times either direction. Practice left lane
changes and right lane changes.


In the beginning, students often steer too much to the right of the street, coming too
close to the curb, or too far to the left next to the street lines.
1. Make sure the student looks far ahead and not just at the hood of the car.
2. Observe the learning driver’s eyes at intersections: are they slowing, looking left, right and then looking left again?
3. Make sure both driver and teacher check blind spots during every lane change.


Because beginners often have problems judging steering, always tell your student to AIM HIGH IN STEERING. When making a lane change, make sure the student doesn’t pull the steering wheel in the direction of their attention when checking a blind spot.

Since this is the first extended in-traffic driving, if the student can’t handle the entire course both ways, better to stop and take time out along the way. Have the student pull over so you can discuss problem or tension points. Don’t push the student to do more that they can handle. It’s all right if the learner decides at any point not to complete the route. You, the teacher, need to take over at that point. Always discuss problem areas. You can come back to this lesson and repeat the entire route, if your student feels insecure with anything encountered during this lesson.


Well, here you go. You’re well on your way to mastering the driving situation. Driving in heavy traffic is a nerve-wracking experience for even the most practiced of drivers. But you’ve mastered all the skills up until this point, so you are well prepared for facing the complexities of heavy traffic driving.


Pick routes that favor multiple lane streets. If you can, select a time of day when traffic is full but not at the peak, as in rush hour, for instance. Go over the lesson plan with your student, discussing your routes.

1. Drive straight through the route several times.
2. Well in advance, the teacher should point out street markings and potential hazards, such as side-by-side traffic, blind spot situations, and clustered traffic.
3. From your selected multi-lane street, turn onto a side street. Go around the block
and return to your multiple lane street.
4. Always make sure the driving student is in the proper lane for upcoming turns and
5. When necessary, instruct the student to change lanes in anticipation of approaching turns.


Beginning drivers, who are nervous about street driving, may react in a number of ways. Often they try to push by driving too fast or following cars ahead too closely.
1. Always give your student clear feedback on performance.
2. Be sure to tell your student about anticipated turns and lane changes well in advance of the maneuver.


Before tackling heavy traffic, students should be adept at basic maneuvers, so that full attention can be paid to the rapidly developing situations that occur on heavily traveled multi-lane streets.

Beginners should be well-versed and comfortable driving standard shift automobiles
before hitting heavy traffic streets. Often you will need to:
1. downshift,
2. stop completely
3. make the car creep
4. and shift up through and back down through the gear pattern when you confront
heavy traffic.


Now that you’ve gained some skills with in-traffic driving, let’s face the challenges of parking. Learning parking skills in difficult situations can give you the confidence in your ability to maneuver your car in even the most demanding of situations. You will learn to:
1. Park facing uphill
2. Park facing downhill


Choose a sloping street with curbs where there is little traffic.

Practice uphill and downhill parking at the curb. Use the following procedures for each maneuver.

1. Signal that you intend to park (Signal right)
2. Pull up and stop close to the curb. At the same time as you stop, turn your steering wheel sharply to the left (toward the street).
3. Shift into neutral and let the car creep slowly backward.
4. Allow the back of the right front tire to come to rest gently against the curb.
5. Shift into park. Set the parking brake.
6. When leaving your space, shift to drive (or first for manual transmissions). Signal
left. You may wish to use blinkers and arm signals, so your signals can be clearly
visible. Glance over your left shoulder (the direction in which you will head). When
you see all is clear, accelerate gently, as you release the parking brake and move into the right traffic lane.


  1. Signal to go right as you approach your space. Stop close to the curb.
  2. Let the car creep slowly into the space, while turning sharply right toward the curb.
  3. Now, in neutral, let your right front tire gently touch the curb.
  4. After you are at a full stop, shift to park (or reverse in manual transmissions).
  5. Leave enough space between you and the car behind you so you can easily leave your space.
  6. Set your parking brake.
  7. When you start out, don’t forget that your car must be in gear to prevent it from running down hill. When leaving your parking space, check for traffic and back up slowly, as you straighten the wheels. Stop. Check traffic once more. Shift into drive (or first for manual transmissions). Signal that you are ready to enter traffic. Glance over your left shoulder to make sure the lane is clear. Move into the nearest lane.


When parking at curbs, learners may allow the car to roll too fast, striking the curb too hard. Whacking the curb can lead to bruised tires and possible blowouts, or fender, undercarriage or trim damage. Students may also back up too fast in preparing to leave a downhill parking position. They may also accelerate too quickly when leaving an uphill parking spot, in fear of being hit from the rear. The key to learning parking skills in the challenging sloping street environment is to take it easy, relax and wait until traffic is clear enough before executing your maneuvers. You can help your student assess when is the appropriate time to park or pull out, until your student has the hang of it. Both of you need to be patient. Remember that all this is new to the student.


Nothing can teach you more about how a car handles than parking. In this lesson we continue to approach the challenges of parking. You will often be called upon to park your car, so these skills are vital for the beginning driver. Probably no skills cause greater anxiety in the beginner than fine parking skills, but, for the student who has mastered the early material in this lesson plan, parking should be pretty easy. Take your time and really concentrate on getting these skills down pat, because they can teach you a lot about your car, its maneuverability and your own ability in controlling your automobile. In this lesson you will learn to:
1. Park at an angle or head-in parking skills for lots
2. Parallel parking for streets


For angle or head-in parking use a large parking lot where about half of the spaces are filled. For parallel parking, select a residential street with little or no traffic.

1. Position your car about five feet from parked cars. Check rear traffic, signal right and begin to brake.
2. When you can see straight into the right stall line, turn wheels sharply right and slowly enter your stall space.
3. Straighten wheels when centered in the space and stop before touching curb or white line with your front bumper.
4. When leaving your angle parking, back up to assure your front bumper is even with the left-hand car’s rear bumper and begin turning right.

1. Position your car to the left side of the stall you wish to pull into so you will have plenty of room to make it into the right hand stall. Check rear traffic, signal right and begin to brake.
2. When you can see the right stall line of the parking space you intend to enter, steer sharply right and enter the space slowly.
3. Straighten your wheels when you are centered in the space. Stop before touching the curb in front or white line with front bumper.
4. When leaving a head-in space, perform the same sequence of maneuvers you did for the angle parking space.

1. Signal and stop two to three feet away from the car in front of your space with your car parallel to the car next to you. The rear bumper of your car should be even with the rear bumper of the car next to you. Shift into reverse.
2. OK, now straighten your wheels and begin to back up even with the car you have pulled up beside. When you see that the back of the front seat of your car appears to be even with the rear bumper of the other car, turn sharply right and prepare to enter the space.
3. When your car’s front bumper is even with the rear bumper of the car next to you, turn sharply left and continue to back into the space cautiously.
4. When your car is almost parallel to the curb and before you touch the car behind you, straighten your wheels and stop. Slowly pull forward, centering your car in the space. Make sure to leave enough distance (two to three feet) between you and the car in front of you so that you can maneuver out of the space and not get parked in.
5. When leaving a parallel parking spot, back straight until close to the car in back of you. (Careful, don’t hit it! Easy does it.) Turn your wheels left, just before stopping. Signal left, check traffic and proceed to move forward with caution. As you approach the rear of the forward car, check your front fender for clearance. When halfway out of the space, turn your wheels to the right, gently accelerate and center your car in the lane as you pull away.


Again, student drivers often have a difficult time judging their proximity to other cars and objects. Nothing can correct a student’s judgement better that learning parking skills. Sometimes beginners pull too close to other cars in either angle or head-in parking spaces. When they back out, students often have trouble gauging traffic as they back out. Tell your student to pause momentarily so that he or she will be able to see traffic to the rear. When instructing students to parallel park, emphasize slow car speed and fast steering wheel turns – the winning combination.


When parking in a standard transmission car, be sure your student can move the car slowly and be able to stop quickly. That means your student should have thoroughly mastered clutch points and braking. Beginners need to know how to release the clutch to the friction point, hold it there, and move the car in small clutch, pressure point moves, slow the car and stop it as needed. Learning drivers should keep the right foot lightly covering the brake during these maneuvers.


Learning how to drive on the smaller two lane highways is great preparation for interstate highway travel and combines some of the skills learned earlier in the course with new material. Both the student and teacher should feel the pride of accomplishment at this point in the program. You’ve nearly completed your training and you’ve done very well! Relax and enjoy “the freedom of the road.” In this lesson you will learn to:

1. Enter minor highways.
2. Establish and maintain following distance.
3. Recognize traffic signals from a distance.
4. Adjust speed for signals.
5. Learn and use highway speed skills.


Pick a two-lane highway with moderate traffic. Your selection can be a state highway or a link-up with major freeways. Choose a highway that has an occasional traffic light, a few trucks and slow-moving cars, if possible. Do not choose a major interstate highway until the learning driver has gained highway experience on a feeder highway. Selecting a smaller highway that is less traveled than an interstate will allow the student to gain confidence in preparation for the big day that he or she drives on a major arterial.


Entering a sub-arterial highway requiring greater traffic speeds can be a harrowing experience for the beginning driver, but it’s also a lot of fun and can be done in safety and confidence.
1. Instruct the learning driver to accelerate promptly to highway speeds when entering freeways or highways.
2. Immediately begin the visual search for cars already on the roadway. Learn to identify traffic flow, density, and any particular hazards encountered on merging with traffic. Slow-moving trucks, tractors, “traffic herds,” or others are examples.
3. Establish your following distance. For every ten miles of speed allow a car length between you and the car ahead of you. You will probably be traveling about 50 miles an hour, so allow five car lengths. Learn to adjust your speed to traffic flow changes. If the car ahead suddenly slows, you must slow also.
4. While still two blocks from an intersection controlled by a light the student should be asked to identify the signal.
5. Speed can often be adjusted to time your arrival at the intersection when the light is green. Often major intersection lights are timed, if you travel at the posted speed limit. Signs posted on the highway should tell you if lights are synchronized. If you are approaching a stale green light, slow down. Avoid entering intersections on the yellow caution light. Some state laws make doing so a ticketing offense. Never run a yellow or red light!!


Beginners often are unsure and hesitate when entering a highway at greater speeds than they are used to traveling. Wait for your student to determine when they feel comfortable about entering and merging with traffic. Don’t bark orders at your learner, even though you spot opportunities for entering a highway. Often traffic lights seen from a two-block distance will change before you arrive at the intersection. The learning driver should know to anticipate such changes. When rounding a curve or driving over the crest of a hill the student should be encouraged to quickly and accurately identify all vehicles in sight with particular attention to potential hazards, such as slow-moving large trucks. Speed adjustments must be made to compensate for slow-moving trucks and tractors, especially when climbing hills.


This lesson culminates the material presented in this course. You need to congratulate yourselves on being an effective driver education team. Here we are, ready to head out on a road with higher speeds, which is surely an adventure in itself.


You should choose a major interstate highway or other freeway for practice. Use a high speed Highway. Ask the student to summarize and explain correct procedures for highway driving before you enter the freeway. The student should be able to clearly explain standard operating procedures for both entering and exiting highways, as well as cruising practices. Select entrances and exits within a fairly short distance of one another. Try to practice consistently in the same area so that the student gets used to these driving conditions and can gain confidence that can be translated to other locations.


Entering and exiting a major highway requires that many complex driving decisions be made. Decisions which, after awhile, become quite routine. Right now, however, they are unfamiliar. Repetition is the key to learning here, as in the other driving environments you have faced together.

1. Accelerate upon entering ramp and onto acceleration lane. As you do so, scope out traffic already on the highway. Are there many cars in the right hand lane where you will enter? Are there trucks and trailers that can slow traffic or make entering difficult?
2. Check your mirror. Check your left blind spot. While maintaining speed, note opportunities to merge.
3. Signal left to merge. Check to the left. Check you mirror and blind spot and merge smoothly to flow with traffic. Some drivers in the lane you are entering may see you coming and may actually speed up or try to cut you off as you are entering. Don’t insist on entering if any unsafe conditions prevail. If you cannot enter, you may have to pull over to the right and simply wait until it’s comfortable to enter from this position. Be aware that entering the highway from the shoulder imposes additional risks compared to entering from a ramp and/or acceleration lane. You must begin to accelerate while still on the side of the road. Accelerate as you enter the right lane, making sure you have allowed plenty of room for approaching cars. If your student feels particularly apprehensive and has pulled over, you, the teacher, can take over.

1. Knowing your exit well in advance and understanding the “lay of the land” can help you easily and smoothly exit the highway
2. Signal for exiting and check rear, right and blind spots. Re-check just before moving over to exit.
3. Decelerate as you exit. Don’t apply brakes suddenly but gauge traffic flows to exit smoothly.


On entrance ramps be sure your student is aware of rear traffic. Learners may tend to look over their shoulders too long when checking to the rear for a gap in the traffic. At this point steering may become unsteady. Once the gap in traffic is located, the student may not accelerate fast enough to smoothly merge into the gap. Helpful and calm coaching can be very supportive at this point. Don’t bark orders or directions as this may serve only to confuse or frustrate your student. In exiting, learners may misjudge an exit and brake too soon in anticipation of the maneuver. However, the student may have to brake forcefully to exit smoothly. After traveling on the highway and exiting back onto surface streets, the student may tend to speed. Check your student’s speed.


This completes the Driving Success, Inc. course. With the aid of the  CONTROLLER™, you have now both completed the instruction course successfully. You have learned the skills necessary to be, not just a competent driver, but a responsible driver who prevents accidents by driving defensively and who has mastered the skills to be a good driver.

Learning how to drive and teaching these skills is also a course in human relations, especially if you are both in the same family. We hope you have discovered learning how to drive is a real challenge that has given you real rewards too. Driving is a privilege and allows you to have real freedom to go where you want when you want. It is a sign of personal responsibility that you have both taught and mastered these skills.

No course or driver education program can teach you everything you need to know to face all the complex situations confronted in everyday driving. It takes years of experience to perfect and add to the basic skills you have acquired in this course. Experience is, after all, the best teacher.

Thanks for allowing me to share my years of experience in driver education with you. I hope you have discovered in this book and in the CONTROLLER™ that you have grown during the course of your training.

Good luck and happy driving,

David W. McGinnis, President
Driving Success Inc.

Driving Success Inc.
Driver Educational Products, 60th year
Copyright © 2024


Purchaser agrees, that neither the inventor of the CONTROLLER™ nor Driving Success, Inc. shall be held liable in the event that an accident occurs while using the CONTROLLER™. At the time of purchase the buyer accepts and understands all the responsibility of safe use of the CONTROLLER™. While every effort has been made to assure safe use, no assurance can be made that the CONTROLLER™ will be used according to recommended safe operating procedures outlined in this book or in any instructions or material either provided with this product or provided separately in writing or verbally. The inventor and Driving Success Inc. shall be deemed free and clear of any liability in the event of an accident, injury, death or misuse of the CONTROLLER™. The user assumes all liability in the event of any vehicle accident using the CONTROLLER™.