It’s not instinctive to know how to drive. Not only do you need to be well-versed in the rules of the road, you need to know how to operate your vehicle safely to ensure your safety and that of other drivers. That’s why driver training is a crucial step in preparing first-time drivers to safely get behind the wheel. While classroom instruction in a key component in learning the basics, nothing will prepare you better than actual hands-on experience!

Approved Driving Schools in Texas - Requirements

Texas requires that you complete at least seven hours of behind-the-wheel training and seven hours of in-the-car instruction (observing, not driving) from an approved Texas driving school. To fulfill this requirement, you need to be at least 15 years of age and enrolled in a formal Texas-approved driver education program (though the drivers education course can be taught by a parent or guardian).

In fact, as the #1 provider of online Texas driver's education programs, we offer state approved adult driver education, parent taught driver education, and in-car driver education courses. Most importantly, we use a technique of learning that has been proven to be superior to conventional classroom training.

Safer Drivers Make Better Drivers

While the driver education course is designed to educate you on the rules of the road, the responsibilities of being licensed, and how to safely abide by traffic laws and interact with other motorists, your behind-the-wheel training is intended to teach you how to safely operate a motor vehicle. During the course of this program, you’ll need to learn some of the following basics for safe driving:

  • Learn how to do a basic safety check – This includes checking around your vehicle for anything out of place – such as cables dragging on the ground, or mysterious pools of fluid underneath the car.
  • Adjust your mirrors so you can see other cars on the road – You’ll also want to learn of any blind spots your vehicle presents.
  • Make safe lane changes – Always check your mirrors and your blind spots!
  • The dimensions of your vehicle – Hopefully you’ll master this in theory and not simply by bumping into things!
  • Learn to accelerate and come to a stop smoothly – The surest sign of a new driver is a car that's lurching forward and screeching to a stop.
  • How to stay on the defensive and watch out for other cars – You may be a safe driver, but we’ve all experienced a few maniac drivers! So stay alert.

While Texas has mandated that 14 hours of in-car training is enough, by no means is this enough time for someone to become a driving master. The best thing you can do is simply practice, practice, practice. Supplementary to this is watching how others drive and observe driver-to-driver interactions. Above all, make it a habit to be well aware of all everything around you and not just the car in front of you – situational awareness is vital!

Helpful Tips for New Drivers

To help you navigate your first year or so on the road, we’ve written down a few helpful tips for all you new drivers. We hope they’ll guide you to becoming the best driver you can be!

  • Your cell phone can wait! – You won't realize you're going too slow and swerving all over the place until you cause an accident. This goes for applying makeup too!
  • Don’t try to eat large or messy foods while driving – That mustard that dripped on your shirt could draw your attention away from slowing down for that driver in front of you who’s suddenly stopped.
  • WEAR YOUR SEATBELT! – This should be drilled into everyone’s head by now, but we thought it’d be best to reiterate just how important it is.
  • Stay alert for less experienced or impaired drivers (and report such things to a local authority).
  • Obey speed limits! – By doing so, you’ll give yourself enough time to react in case of an unexpected obstacle. Plus you’ll be surprised how quick you’ll get to your destination (speeding often gives short-term gains and nothing more) and your MPG will fair much better!
  • Listen to your stereo at a reasonable volume! – Not only so that you can hear approaching sirens, but also so that you can better concentrate on the task at hand. Believe us, you will be given the stink eye if you don’t move over for emergency vehicles!
  • NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE! – Be smart and remember that you can buy hundreds of cab rides for the cost of a single DUI ticket.

Follow these simple steps and you'll be off to a running start! A traffic ticket can ruin your whole month, but a car crash can ruin your whole year! Is it really worth taking unnecessary risks? Enroll in one of our Texas approved driving schools today and get started!

Texas Rules of the Road

To maintain order on the road, rules must be implemented for people to follow. Road signs and signals are placed to remind drivers of these rules; however, it is ultimately up to the driver to know how to follow the guidelines and rules of the road. Obeying the speed limit, stopping at stoplights, and following regulatory and warning signs are crucial, but there are many other road rules that drivers must abide by as well. Below you will find a wealth of knowledge on Texas road rules that go beyond your basic speed limit and stop sign regulations. These rules and many more are covered in our adult driver education course.

Fundamental Texas Road Rules

Right of Way – Yielding to Others

The right of way is there to organize who is responsible for yielding to others; however, this road rule is not always practiced. Therefore, it is important to understand that the right of way should not be assumed – even if you should have the right of way it is important to be cautious of others who mistakenly take it for their own. Drivers can avoid confusion and accidents by becoming familiar with yielding rules.

When to Yield:

  • When turning left and other cars are coming straight from the other direction
  • Yield to pedestrians and vehicles when entering a road from a private path, alley, building or driveway
  • When approaching a T-Intersection, yield to traffic on the through street
  • When leaving or entering a controlled-access highway
  • At railroad crossings
  • When pedestrians are present
  • When a school bus is flashing red lights
  • When emergency vehicles have their lights or sirens on (If possible pull off to the right edge of the road and stop)

Signaling- Make Your Actions Known

Driving is a communal effort because it involves your own behavior as well as the actions of those around you who are driving. Therefore, a good driver must be aware of factors outside the vehicle and let others be aware of his or her own actions as well.

Avoid crashes and allow other drivers to plan ahead by signaling when:

  • Changing lanes
  • Making a turn
  • Pulling away from a parallel parking space
  • Slowing down or coming to a stop

Pavement Markings- Let Them be Your Guide

Pavement markings are used to direct drivers and regulate traffic. Each marking has its own purpose; following these rules prevents confusion and chaos.

Pavement Markings and their Meaning:

  • Solid Yellow Line – if on your side of the road (the opposing lane should have a broken yellow line), this line indicates a “no-passing zone”
  • Double Yellow Line – crossing these lines is prohibited
  • Broken Yellow Line- drivers are only allowed to cross a broken yellow line when passing another vehicle, if the conditions are safe (These are usually found on a two-lane rural road with two-way traffic)
  • Broken White Line – drivers may drive in any lane marked with these lines
  • Solid White Lines- indicate pavement edge lines, shoulder marking, transitions, and lane use control. Drivers should avoid crossing these lines.
  • Crosswalks – drivers must stop before the crosswalk where white lines are painted and no signals are present, as well as when traffic signs, signals, or pedestrians are present.
  • White Stop Lines – drivers must stop before the white line
  • Left Turn Lane Only – this lane should only be entered when the vehicle can safely slow down and stop to make a left turn. It is usually bordered with a solid yellow line on each side with two broken white lines on the inside.

Buckle Up

Texas road rules require that seat belts be worn at all times. This law is implemented to ensure the safety for those in the vehicle; therefore, it is important to make sure that the driver and all passengers are properly secured before turning on the engine.

Requirements for vehicles equipped with seat belts:

Children who are under 8 years old and less than 4’9” in height are to be fastened in a child passenger safety seat.
Drivers and adult passengers along with children who are at least 8 but taller than 4’9” in height must wear seat belts.

Specifics Cases on the Road

Night Driving

Driving at night is more dangerous than during daylight hours. Because of this, it is important that drivers take the necessary precautions to avoid errors that may occur on the road. Since darkness impairs vision, it is important that drivers are on high alert. It is especially important that you refrain from operating a vehicle when tired.

Headlight Rules for Night Driving:

  • Drivers must use headlights 30 minutes after sunset and may turn them off 30 minutes before sunrise
  • If using your high beams, dim headlights within 500 feet of an approaching vehicle or when following within 300 feet of another vehicle
  • Avoid looking directly into headlights because it can obstruct your own vision

When Pulled Over

If you are pulled over for violating Texas road rules, follow these steps:

  • Pull the vehicle safely to the right as soon as possible (if there is no shoulder, drive ahead until you find a safe place to stop) and bring it to a complete stop
  • Place the vehicle in a fully parked position and turn off the car
  • Activate the hazard lights on the vehicle
  • Lower the driver window and wait for instruction from law enforcement

Ready to Hit the Road

Having an understanding of Texas road rules can mean the difference between a smooth drive and a ticket—or possibly something worse. Being a conscientious driver helps ensure safe roadways and encourages respect among the drivers around you. These are basic Texas driving laws that are typically covered in parent taught driving school. Remember this and hit the road!

In the State of Texas, as with nearly every state, teenagers are subject to graduating driving privileges, meaning that as they age, they are granted greater driving freedom and subject to fewer driving restrictions. If you are a teen living in the State of Texas, having an understanding of teenage driving laws is vital – otherwise, you could find yourself being cited or losing your provisional license! Read more below:

Texas Drivers License for Teens

Minors in the State of Texas can acquire three separate types of license, each granted different driving privileges. These license types are:

Learner License

If you are at least 15 years of age, have completed the required driver education classroom training, and meet all other licensing requirements, you can apply for a learner license. With this license, you will be able to drive while supervised by a licensed individual 21 years of age or older so that you can gain invaluable experience behind the wheel. With this learner license, you can practice and gain the experience necessary to obtain your provisional license. A learner license expires on the applicant’s 18th birthday party.

Minor Restricted Driver License (MRDL)

Also known as a “hardship license,” an MRDL is good for one year (it expires on the applicant’s next birthday), and applies to individuals who qualify based on specific criteria. Typically, qualified individuals are at least 15 years of age, meet standard licensing and Texas driver education requirements, and demonstrate a need to drive based on some sort of hardship or qualifying factor. With a minor restricted driver license, minors can drive to and from school, or to and from a place of employment. If you believe that you qualify for a Texas MRDL, inquire about teenage driving laws at your local DPS office to learn more.

Provisional License

A provisional license applies to all minors, and expires on the applicant’s 18th birthday. With a provisional license, individuals no longer require adult supervision. However, they are still subject to curfews and passenger limitations. If you are the holder of a provisional Texas drivers license, you cannot:

  • Drive between midnight and 5AM, except in the case of an emergency or for school-related activities
  • With more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 21 who is not a family member.
  • May not drive while operating or using a cellphone or wireless device

Adhering to these Texas teenage driving laws will ensure that you maintain a good driving record – and will help ensure your safety as well.

Drive Safely and Legally

You may be encouraged by your friends to break these laws, but don’t! The risk simply isn’t worth it. If you are being pressured to drive during curfew hours or take a group of friends out in your car, just say “no.” It’s that simple. Be safe!

Is Driver Education Free?

If someone has told you that you can find free parent taught driving course classes online, we’re afraid to inform you that you have been misled. Driver’s education is extremely important, after all; it not only demonstrates to the state your commitment and willingness to take on the responsibilities of being licensed, it also is an invaluable teaching tool. Completing a driver’s education program will help you learn the rules of the road, appreciate the dangers of driving, and prepare you to drive safely so that you can protect yourself and those around you. For these reasons and more, driver’s education courses must be state-approved and comprehensive. Put simply, there’s no such thing as free driver’s ed – at least not when it comes to courses that are recognized in Texas!

EFFECTIVE Parent Taught Drivers Ed

The most important aspect of any drivers education program is not its cost but how effective it is as a teaching tool. Our teen and adult driver’s education classes are approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety, can be completed entirely online for your convenience, and are highly effective. Covering a range of different topics, including Texas road rules, state driving regulations, identification of road signs and traffic signals, and other related subjects, our driver’s ed program contains everything that you need to become a safe, informed, and responsible driver.

Our online driver’s education program consists of multiple sections, each covering a different topic. To ensure that you have retained the vital information from each, we will test you at the conclusion of every section. These knowledge checks are not there to make our courses more difficult; rather, they have been put in for your benefit. If you reach this section of the program and find that you have not retained the info you need, you can easily go back and study the necessary information. After all, our goal at Virtual Drive is to make you a safe, confident driver, and our driver’s ed program has been designed to help ensure just this!

AFFORDABLE Parent Taught Driver Education

We may not be able to offer you FREE drivers education classes at Virtual Drive, but we do offer an affordable Texas driver education course. We offer bundle packages that can help you save money, and we provide financial assistance as well. If you suffer from financial hardship or are simply seeking a solution that is easier on the wallet, take advantage of one of these offers:

  • Multiple-student Discount – Are you enrolling more than one child into our online driver’s education program? If so, we’d love to give you a discount! To learn more, call us!
  • Financial Hardship Assistance – If you suffer from financial hardship, we can help. If you currently qualify for state or federal financial assistance, then you can qualify for our reduced course rates as well. Safety is important to us, and we do not believe that disadvantaged students should be denied the tools they need to drive safely and confidently. To learn more, call us today!

If you have any questions about our financial assistance options, we encourage you to contact us! We would be happy to answer them.

Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed Resources

TEXAS TRAFFIC SIGNS

Most people are familiar with the red light, green light routine; however, for many, the purpose of the vast array of other traffic signs that can be found on the road eludes them. Identifying Texas traffic signs and knowing how to react to them will save you confusion and in turn lead to a smoother ride for yourself and those around you – put simply, it will make you safer. Whether you are a native of Texas or are unfamiliar with the area, having an understanding of Texas traffic signs is essential. At Virtual Drive, we provide you with helpful information regarding how to identify and react to traffic signs that serve to regulate, warn, inform and guide drivers.

Traffic Signs

Traffic signs are implemented to help you drive safely among other drivers. They provide guidance for your route, warn of potential hazards, inform of local regulations and practices, and regulate driving behavior. We cannot stress enough how important it is to observe and obey these signs, not only for safety reasons but to help you avoid dreaded traffic violations as well!

Texas traffic signs follow a standard color and shape in order for drivers to easily distinguish their purpose. Here we provide a simple Color Code Cheat Sheet that explains what each color identifies.

  • Red - stop or prohibited
  • Green - movement permitted and directional guidance
  • Blue - service guidance (e.g. rest stops, call boxes, etc.)
  • Yellow - general warning
  • Black - regulation
  • White - regulation
  • Orange - Constructions and maintenance warning
  • Brown - Public recreation and scenic guidance

Warning Signs

Warning signs alert drivers of what is ahead of them so that they can be prepared. For the most part, warning signs will be orange or yellow in color. These signs are used to alert drivers about construction or indicate a general warning such as a change in direction, road hazards, unforeseen curves and turns, or other aspects the driver may otherwise be unaware of. Examples of common warning signs include:

Windy Road Ahead road sign

Winding Road Ahead

Drive slowly and carefully, and do not pass.

Merging Lanes Ahead road sign

Approaching Where Two Roads Come Together

You are not required to merge, an additional lane begins. Watch out for traffic in the new lane.

Center Lane Closed Ahead road sign

Center Lane Closed Ahead

There is construction or maintenance being done to the road ahead. Be aware of the lane that is permissible to drive in.

School Zone sign

School Zone

A school is nearby, meaning children may be present; slow down and be prepared to stop suddenly.


There are many other signs such as these. When coming across any, be sure topay attention, follow instructions, and reduce speed when indicated. Remember, a prepared driver is a safe driver!

Regulatory Signs

Drivers must obey regulatory signs just as they would traffic laws. These signs are posted to indicate the speed and movement of traffic. These signs are usually white or black and indicate what you can or cannot do. However, some signs, such as “Wrong Way” and “Stop,” are red to draw immediate attention from drivers. Types of regulatory signs include:

  • Exclusionary - indicates what is not permitted on the road (e.g. “Do Not Enter”).
  • Regulation of Movement - Indicates where traffic is allowed to go (e.g. “Keep Right”).
  • Lane Usage and Turns - designates bike lanes, carpool lanes, prohibited turns, and proper use of lane (e.g. “Turn Only Lanes”).
  • Speed Limit - states the proper speed that is permitted on the road
  • Stop and Yield - states when to come to a full stop and when to yield for other drivers, bikes or pedestrians.
  • One Ways - indicates that traffic is flowing in one direction; going against traffic is not permitted as it may lead to a head-on collision.
  • Parking - these signs indicate where and when parking is prohibited and permitted.

Guide Signs

Guide signs are traffic signs that help drivers maintain a sense of direction. They can be particularly helpful for drivers who are unfamiliar with an area. Utilizing them will help ensure that you enjoy a more pleasant journey – whether the sign indicates where the next rest stop is or shows upcoming alternative routes, these signs will help you in your travels. Guide signs include:

  • Route Markers - placed on highways, business loops, and interstates to tell you what road you are on.
  • Exit Signs - indicate where to get off.
  • Travel Information - provide directions to popular destinations and tend to be green in color.
  • Street Signs - give a sense of direction.
  • Rest Areas and Service Signs - indicate the location of rest stops, food, gas stations, and other various services. These tend to be blue.

Be On the Look Out

Texas traffic signs are there to guide you safely while in route to your destination. Following them will not only help ensure your safety, but the safety of those around you. These basic guidelines on the meaning of Texas traffic signs can help you on your way to becoming a more proficient driver. Remember, being attentive pays off!