Teaching someone how to drive is one of the biggest challenges we have! Especially for family members.
We have been guiding and teaching them since they were born. We showed them how to use utensils without hurting themselves and in the same vein, we are now helping them learn how to control a vehicle without hurting themselves or others.
Most Learner drivers will have to complete at least 100 hours driving for their logbook requirements. This seems like a large number to many of us, and we may feel like we want to get it done as soon as possible! However, most times, they must hold the learner licence for 1 year before attempting the practical test – leaving plenty of time to complete these hours. So there really should be no rush to get them into situations that will cause stress in the car.
When we taught them utensils, did we hand them the sharpest knife to start? Or did we begin with plastic spoons, then making our way up to forks, then knives, then ultimately to metal utensils?
It is the same principal with driving – we need them to feel safe when learning, knowing that we can feel confident in the back streets for the first 10 hours (minimum), will give you both the peace of mind that very little can go wrong, and if it does, it is unlikely to affect other road uses dramatically.
Regardless of your learner driver’s level of skill, ultimately you should still be in control. As a supervisor, you need to think well ahead – look around and use your experience to warn your learner of danger you think they have not recognised.
You may have to physically help your learner with control of the wheel. But since you don’t have dual controls for braking, you will need to rely on calm, clear communication with your Learner. This means anticipating, and training them into the correct habits, rather than correcting their mistakes. When you start supervising, practice helping with car control from the passenger seat. Talk things through with your learner beforehand, and only attempt it when you’re both ready and in a safe area.
Subscribers to the Full Driving lessons will have access to videos for visual aids and a comprehensive Student Record card, that both learners and supervisors can use as a guide, to know not only what should be taught, but also in what order.
Remember to stay calm and communicate with your learner. Look for signs of distress and diffuse the situation. Take plenty of breaks (every 10 minutes if necessary) as learning to drive requires full concentration, therefore can be tiring for the learner driver.