Supervising learner drivers – RED Driving School’s top ten tips for success
RED Driving School believes it is beneficial to gain as much practical experience as possible when learning to drive, but we strongly recommend that learners should first have professional instruction from a qualified driving instructor, who can then give you specific areas to practise, when ready, during private practise.
It is not an easy task for friends or relatives to help you practise your driving skills. RED Driving School has produced its top ten tips for accompanying a learner driver to help maintain road safety, ensure good driver attitudes and to avoid you picking up bad driving habits.
1. Legalities – the accompanying driver must be over the age of 21 and must hold a current full licence, in the relevant vehicle category and have held it for at least three years
2. The vehicle – the vehicle must be road-worthy, taxed, have a valid MOT where necessary and be properly insured for both you and your accompanying driver
3. Are you ready? – learning basic car control with a professional instructor is highly recommended prior to taking any private practise. Your instructor will be able to tell you if and when you are ready
4. Is your accompanying driver ready? – the majority of drivers do not keep up to date with the changes to the Highway Code. Any bad habits or lack of knowledge the accompanying driver has could be passed on to you
5. The learning environment – the accompanying driver must remain positive, even when things go wrong, offering constructive criticism, not telling you off, when mistakes are made
6. Accept responsibility – the accompanying driver is in charge of you and is therefore responsible for your actions. The same mobile phone and fitness to drive rules apply to them even though they will be sitting in the passenger seat
7. The route – the accompanying driver must give clear, concise directions for a pre-planned route that will avoid you having to experience something that is far beyond your capabilities and experience. Don’t forget, learner drivers are not allowed to drive on a motorway
8. Communicate – ensure the instructor and accompanying driver talk regularly. The instructor may even invite the accompanying driver to sit in on some of the professional lessons to create a partnership, avoiding contradicting information
9. Keep records – keep records of your private practise. This will help both the instructor and the accompanying driver compare progress and plan your development
10. Planning – try to avoid going out for ‘a bit of a drive’. Make sure both you and your accompanying driver know exactly what areas need improvement, the standards expected and how to practise this to avoid creating bad driving habits.