DURING THE YEARS I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE OF TRAINING A LARGE NUMBER OF LEARNER DRIVERS.
Many of my learner drivers practice at home before coming to me. Their driving skills are highly variable. Sometimes they have very good knowledge about how to drive, and I need to correct only some small things, and sometimes I wish that they had not driven at home at all. Sometimes their driving license would have cost less if they had never been in a car before. These learner drivers have practiced a lot and come to me just before they are supposed to get their license. They have been training at home, they have focused on the wrong things, and their supervisors have also taught them things incorrectly. To correct years of doing something wrong takes a lot of time!
OK! Which are the most common errors that learner drivers does?
Here are five common errors:
Patience! If you want to learn to juggle while cycling, you have to learn to ride first and then you learn to juggle. After that, you can try to juggle while cycling. So in other words, start with the basics! It is useless to practice in heavy traffic if you hardly can start the car.
As a tutor, it is important that you don’t take things for granted when it comes to your students’ knowledge level. Just because you know how to drive doesn’t mean the student knows. It’s important that you analyze the different steps you take when you’re driving. Try to break things down into their smallest components and communicate these to your student.
Have patience! 🙂
Do not practice driving on a motorway at home if you practice hill starts at the driving school. You will save money and your efficiency will be higher if you practice the same things at home as you are currently practicing at the driving school. By practicing the same thing, you save money! So in other words, don’t just “drive around.” Memorize what they tell you at school and exercise in the same way at home. Sometimes my students ask me something like this: “Can’t we skip the motorway driving lesson? I’ve already driven 300 miles on the motorway at home!” Later on in the lesson, I notice that the student needs to practice both entering and exiting the motorway. As it turns out, the student indeed drove those 30o miles at home. However, he/she entered the motorway, drove 300 miles, and exited the motorway. Driving straight ahead for 300 miles on a motorway isn’t hard. The difficult part is the entrances and the exits. So in other words, pure exercise wise a pretty wasted tripWhat could they have done instead? Well, enter and exit the motorway hundreds of times on those 300 miles, and then it works!
A lot of learner drivers use the clutch as some kind of safety valve. The car always moves slower if they press the clutch down, they think. That’s not the case! It is important that the tutor teaches you to always keep an eye on your clutch foot!
Most learner drivers look too close to the front of the car. Look faaaaar ahead! The same applies to looking sideways at exits, connecting roads, cycle paths, etc. Look wiiiiide!
We humans are designed for moving at a much lower speed than what we are traveling at when we drive a car. We are built for walking or running speed. In terms of design, we should pick up pinecones and hunt animals that we then take into a cave and barbecue. Evolution, in other words, has not followed properly. Scanning is something that must be practiced. Early in the training it is also important to exercise risk awareness and gain an understanding of why you need to scan for connecting roads, cycle paths, driveways, etc. It’s all about the tutor repeating this message a lot, and you have to have a lot of patient rehearsals. It’s important to have a good theoretical basis before you start driving.
Most tutors usually have great driving experience with many years behind the wheel. Keep in mind that some rules might have changed over the years and some new elements have been introduced in driver training.
In some countries it was recommended to hold the wheel at “ten and two.” Today it is “a quarter to three” because of the airbag.
Another example is eco-driving. Please take a look here: http://www.drivers-education.eu/eco-driving-to-save-fuel/.This doesn’t apply to all countries.
This was only a selection of common mistakes in private practice. There are more. In future posts, you will get advice on how you can set up training at home in a convenient way. You will also get advice on what the student needs to know before you go on to the next exercise.
Keep an eye on www.drivers-education.eu to get advice and tips!