A call out to Parents….. Every day we meet new Learners who are being guided by a mixture of intrepid and excited parents getting them started with their logbooks. We would like to offer some tips to ensure their smooth set up process to build the safest skills possible.
- FIRST THINGS FIRST ……
We have many parents who get really excited about their kids being able to drive and jump many steps in the learning process to take them straight out on the Motorway or show them reverse parking……. albeit some Learners are quite capable, the early learning stages require that a Learner can steer correctly (push – pull), balance pedals and steering, navigate roundabouts and indicating off them, take off correctly and stop appropriately and maintain speed correctly. These skills are the building blocks to all other complex driving skills, it is imperative to ensure beginner drivers establish these habits first.
- PLAN AHEAD PARENTS…..
In the first 20-30 hours of learning to drive, beginners are building their understanding of momentum, braking distances, speed control, coordination and expanding their vision to be able to take in more than a simple fixed point. Given this, decision making on where they are going can be difficult at best and impossible at least! It is so important that Parents / Supervisors understand the routes that they intend to take their Learner on is thought out, depending on the stage that they are at. A first time driver needs to learn correct steering firstly and then coordinating the pedals with the steering, this can be done in a quiet car park and build to driving around a block near home to the left to start with. Learning to drive close to home allows the Learner some familiarity as they have played and ridden bicycles on these streets typically. Use that to your advantage in establishing quiet and simple routes close to home, teach them to take off correctly then stop safely and remember repetition is the key.
With regards to repetition we as driving instructors see the improvement in all Learners at all stages by repeating a route three or four times, psychologically the Learner is more prepared each time and this is where the confidence building begins. The more prepared you are in where you want your Learner to go, the easier it is to give directions ahead of time and allow them to anticipate the road ahead and all the hazards and factors.
- LOOK AHEAD PARENTS….
In planning the routes ahead of time, you as the Supervisor will be more prepared to look ahead and anticipate the hazards and events that your Learner may not be able to take in yet. It’s like any driving, the further ahead you look the more information you can take in about what is around you and your Learner. Don’t be distracted by phones, maps and music.
There are suction cap rear view mirrors that can be purchased from car stores for a small price, these can be helpful in giving you the same ‘rear’ perspective as your learner and help you to pre-empt the vehicles and activity happening behind to bring into the conversations with your Learner. This helps to gradually build their scope of vision and the ability to multi task over time.
Streetwise Driver Training are accredited with the Government to teach the free Keys2Drive lesson, this can be a valuable way to receive guidance as a parent on how to support your learner effectively without spending money or being obliged to pay for further lessons, to register for your free lesson go to www.keys2drive.com.au and give us a call to book your lesson.