Tips for Learner Drivers
We’ve got some amazing tips for learner drivers from the best people to help you – from actual driving instructors themselves. If they don’t know then your best friend’s uncle surely doesn’t so listen up and we’ll go over them one by one.
Learning how to drive opens up a new world of fun and freedom. Let’s hear how it’s done then.
Driving is About the Future not Today!
It goes without saying that you learn today to pass your driving test tomorrow, but in reality a good instructor will teach you how to drive safely for the rest of your life. One instructor that we spoke to said he asks his learners if they’d feel safe with a small child in the back seat. If they answer yes then he knows that they’re ready for driving in the real world.
Driving skills and ability are some of the most widely used tools you’ll ever learn, but they can also be abused. Think of how drunk drivers ruin their own life and those of strangers when they kill or maim an innocent victim. Just one example of the power that you wield when you get behind the wheel of a car. That’s why it’s vitally important that you think positively and act with good intentions at all times. You’re in control of huge chunk of metal that has terrible consequences when things go wrong.
Don’t let such a misfortune happen to you – it’s not something that you want hanging over your head for the rest of your life should you be involved in an accident.
In the UK we are especially lucky that all our driver trainers are approved driving instructors or ADIs.
Practice Driving Listening to Music
Most instructors and learners have lessons in deathly silence, but a certain innovator that we’ve spoken to has advised us to have at least one or two lessons with the music on. They don’t mean drive around like you’re having a midnight rave, but get used to driving in a real world situation. You might be with a friend and struggling to hear directions because of the radio, for example.
In effect what this instructor is saying is make sure that your lessons match situations that you’re likely to come across in your daily driving routine. You don’t live in outer space so make your driving environment mirror the world that you inhabit. Simple common sense stuff really.
Wear Comfortable Clothing and Footwear
Don’t turn up to your driving test wearing brand new high heels or trainers that are nipping your feet. You want to be feeling as comfortable as possible when taking your test. Your mind should be clear and fully focused on driving smoothly and impressing your driving examiner. The last thing you want is to be distracted by a poor choice of clothing. Imagine how annoyed with yourself you’d be if you failed your test due to something silly. Not to mention how daft you would feel afterwards. Pay attention and do yourself justice. That starts well in advance of your actual test. It starts on the morning beforehand when you get dressed into the appropriate driving attire.
Know Your Routes and Learn the Area
This old chestnut has been passed around many times before and for good reason. A driving examiner doesn’t go out of his way to make you fail your test – they’re not evil people like many folks believe. That said, they still want to know you’re awake and that you’re capable of making rational decisions when a question is put in front of you. That doesn’t have to be a verbal question, but driving instructors are known to test people in many ways. They usually have few tricks up their sleeves and will take you down a tight road with cars parked tightly on both sides, for example.
It’s up to you to be one step ahead of your instructor. Don’t give them ammunition by making rash moves that will fluster you and make you panic. If something happens that upsets you slightly, take a deep breath and gather your thoughts. Explain to the instructor what happened if you want to, as it is your right to do so. Not everyone knows this, however.
Remember, we keep on saying it, but instructors are normal people. You can talk to them if you wish, but don’t over do it. They won’t appreciate you talking the head off them.
Your Driving Education is for Life
We’ve already touched on this subject, but let’s look at it another way. Once you pass your driving test, it doesn’t mean you’re the perfect driver. Far from it, you’re still only a baby driver compared to your road-running companions. If you’re still unsure or an especially nervous person, why not consider having extra lessons to polish up your weaknesses. Maybe you love driving, but are unsure of yourself once it starts to get dark or you hate motorway driving.
Whatever your reasoning, it won’t do you any harm to have a few too many lessons than not enough. Any time above and beyond what is required by law can only be a good thing. Remember, the law only requires you to do the minimal amount of driver training necessary. In an ideal world everyone would do far more before they were allowed anywhere near a main road.
You owe it to yourself, your family and your fellow road users that you are a safe and sound driver. Just because you own that piece of paper – or plastic as it is nowadays – doesn’t mean you can’t improve upon your situation.
Don’t Fear the Driving Examiner
When you hear about scary people, there is often tall tales of a driving instructor that is scarier than Godzilla. Maybe that is true in the rarest of circumstances, but like most tall tales, they are embellished with nonsense and exaggerations. You need to concentrate on yourself rather than the instructor. Be courteous and polite to them and leave it at that.
The only time you need to speak to them is if you make a mistake, you are allowed to explain yourself why you made the wrong move or choice. Telling them that you know the correct way, but it was a genuine mistake will go in your favour, but don’t over cook it. Stick to the truth and the facts. Telling lies won’t go down well.
It’s worth pointing out that you are allowed 15 minor faults in the UK, so don’t panic and blow it all over one or two small errors. Nearly everyone who passes their driving test will have at least a few red crosses marked on their card.
If you’ve got any more tips that our instructors failed to mention, then please let us know in the comment section. We’d love to have your feedback and hear your input.