Helping someone learn to drive? Here are 6 top tips
by Helen Jackson |
posted 07 May 2018
Whether you’re helping your child or a friend learn to drive it can become a very stressful situation very quickly. It’s important when you’re alongside a learner driver that you’re able to help them learn and stay stress-free when in charge of a vehicle.
We’re sharing our top six tips to help equip you, so you can help them even more!
Stay as calm as possible
It’s hard when you feel they’re crunching the gears or going too slowly. But it’s important you stay as calm as possible – even if you do feel like screaming on the inside. Gripping the seat and the door handles as you go around corners doesn’t help the driver feel at ease. Talk to them in a calm tone and choose your words carefully. This approach can make for a much more enjoyable drive.
Don’t overload them with instructions
You need to keep reminding yourself that this person is an inexperienced learner driver. They simply don’t have your road knowledge. So try and give them one instruction at a time. Reeling off a list of instructions that they don’t understand is completely pointless and will unnecessarily anger and stress out the driver.
Take them to an industrial park
Don’t force them to drive down roads you know are busy if they’re still not ready. Instead, drive them to the closest industrial park and swap seats. These areas are usually a lot quieter if not empty of an evening, with long roads – this is the perfect place to get started.
If you’re not confident, don’t get in
If you can’t keep calm and you’re on edge every second, it’s probably best to not get into the car. Suggest they take extra lessons with another family member. If you don’t feel you can help them practise their driving safely, don’t put yourself in this position.
Remember, you were once a learner
Even though it might be years, even decades since you passed your test you were still once a learner just like them. Try putting yourself in their position. It can be so difficult to even grasp the basics of handling a car and with your feet moving across three pedals, a gearstick and a wheel to contend with, it’s not easy when you are brand new to it.
Familiarise yourself with the Highway Code
It’s important that you familiarise yourself with the Highway Code if you’re helping someone else learn to drive. You don’t want to pass on any incorrect information and guesswork. They need to understand the Highway Code thoroughly as part of their driving test. It’s also important to keep your own driving habits out of these lessons. The way you drive has probably changed a lot since you took your test which perhaps wouldn’t qualify as the right thing to do in a test. For example, crossing your hands on the wheel instead of threading the wheel through your hands.
Test your Highway Code knowledge with our short quiz! How will you score?