The day is here, your child has turned 17 and wants to learn to drive. No more taxiing them around 24/7. There’s just the little matter of them passing their driving test. It is recommended that learner drivers take professional lessons with a driving instructor and also get as much private practice as possible. The RAC recommends that learners need approximately 45 hours of lessons and 20 hours of additional practice to pass their test. This is just an average, some need more, others less.
If you want your child to learn safely and pass their test, you’re going to need to help them by giving them some lessons. Before you set off for your first journey in the car, consider these tips.
Are you the right person to help them?
You might be a great driver, with many years of safe driving behind you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the best person to help. Be honest about your relationship with your child. If you spend a lot of time shouting and arguing with each other, then this isn’t going to make for comfortable or safe driving lessons. Will you have the patience?
You need to look at your own driving skills too. If you’ve picked up a lot of bad habits, you don’t want them picking these up. Not only is it dangerous but they’ll probably fail their test too.
Contact their instructor for tips
It’s a good idea to talk to their professional instructor who has been giving them lessons. They’ll be able to tell you the techniques they’re using to teach certain procedures, that way you’ll be able to use the same techniques when you practice. It’s less confusing for the person learning to drive.
Their instructor will also be able to tell you what areas of driving they need extra practice on. Your child may need further practice at roundabouts or reverse parking. You’ll be able to focus your time in the car on their weaker areas, which will ultimately help them to pass their test.
Learn the test routes in your area
Find out which areas driving tests generally tend to use and visit them during your lesson. Of course, you want a learner driver to be comfortable anywhere, but knowing the streets and road layouts on the test route is a good idea and will build their confidence.
Brush up on your Highway Code
You’ve probably forgotten a few things since you passed your test. Learner drivers now have to take Theory, Hazard Perception as well as their driving test. Have a read through of your Highway Code so that you can answer any questions you are asked.
Remember, you were once where they are now, all nervous and excited about gaining your freedom. We tend to have less patience with our own children than we would with other people. People learn at different speeds so try not to get frustrated or angry. A good driving instructor is friendly, supportive and patient.
Once they have passed their test, you just need to worry about buying them their first car.
Photographs courtesy of motorverso.com