Preparation Mistake #2:
Failing to identify and remember SSFs (arbitrary state-specific factoids)
Today we’re focusing on Mistake #2. It’s a dangerous one because it’s so easily overlooked.
Your state’s driving rules are a mix of courtesy, common sense, and state-specific trivia. It’s only common sense to let a pedestrian ahead of you cross the street before you proceed or not to try to cut off an oncoming truck, right?
However, other state rules involve arbitrary facts that are anything BUT common sense.
Those are things like how close you may legally park to a fire hydrant or what the maximum speed limit is in a residential area. What makes these values so *dangerous* for a learner driver is that they often vary among states.
You may already know many of the common-sense rules of driving. You may already have some experience driving, or your family may have been driving for a long time as you watched. But there is no alternative to memorizing facts like how close you may legally park to a crosswalk in your state or how far in advance of a turn you must start to signal. Those things just need to be memorized. (Our free “Fines and Limits” practice test for your state is all about those state-specific facts)
If you’re an existing driver who must retake the state knowledge test, you probably already know most of the driving rules and best practices. What you should focus more on is memorizing state-specific facts. You may have forgotten some of these facts since you took the knowledge test the first time, your state’s laws may have changed since then, or you may have become a resident of a different state in which the facts are different. Your study plan should probably distinguish between driving rules, recommended best practices, and state-specific facts, with different study approaches for each of these.