Accompanying Learner Drivers.
If you’re prepared to help your child or another learner driver, we’ll gladly
work with you to ensure that the practice they undertake is in line with the
current teaching requirements of the DSA (much has changed over the last few years).
Statistics show that gaining extra practice, in addition to driving lessons
with a qualified ADI, is highly beneficial to the learner. However, it’s not essential,
many people learn to drive successfully without extra practice – it just takes a little longer.
The Law – the accompanying driver must be over 21, hold a full licence for 3 years
and must not be paid, either in cash or in kind unless he or she is a qualified driving instructor (ADI). You must also ensure that the car used is fully insured for the
learner to drive.
Practice vs Lessons.
Extra practice offers the chance to develop skills that have
been learnt during lessons with the qualified instructor. It is important to
establish with your child’s instructor what they need to practice as driving
techniques and practices have changed over the years as car technology
and traffic volumes have changed. Love Driving instructors are always
willing to talk with parents to ensure pupils gain the maximum benefit.
The DSA’s website says…”It is unlikely that anyone except an Approved
Driving Instructor (ADI) would have the experience, knowledge and training
to teach you properly. Learning safe driving habits from the start will
improve the safety of yourself and other road users.”
Love Driving’s tips for Parents…
1. Gear Changing. It is now correct practice when changing down to a lower gear,
to choose the gear you need, rather than to go sequentially through the gearbox.
When turning a corner, approaching in 4th and changing to 2nd, you shouldn’t
go to 3rd gear at all – you won’t need it, so don’t use it. This is called selective
or block gear changing.
2. Handbrake. Some parents insist that the learner apply the handbrake
at every junction – this is not necessary. Only use the handbrake if you may
roll back or if you will be stopped for more than a few seconds.
3. Signalling. Your Instructor will advise when a signal should be given.
Some parents believe that a signal should be given every time the learner
pulls up or pulls way. The guiding principle however, in these situations is
- will someone benefit from a signal? If yes, then give one. There are other
situations where a signal should always be given.
4. Poor habits. Learners who get extra practice often develop poor habits -
forgetting to use the mirrors, holding the steering wheel in the incorrect
position and coasting.
These comments are intended as a guideline only. Take advice from your
Love Driving instructor. The most helpful extra practice occurs with the instructor’s
advice and input. If the accompanying driver wants to chat through the best ways
to help, feel free to give us a call on 07855 361650 or where time allows,
we’ll talk to you following a lesson.
And finally…take things easy. Start with quiet roads and gradually build up.
Don’t forget a driving instructor has the benefit of dual controls and
experience in teaching, so it’s likely that a parent/partner will be more stressed
if things go wrong. When a pupil gets extra practice, they’re driving a car they’re
not used to and can find it particularly difficult to find the biting point on the clutch.
If things do go wrong….. and steam is coming out of your ears(!) ask them to pull over
in a safe, legal and convenient place. Calm down, think about what they did and when
everyone’s calm, get going again! Remember, don’t panic, stay cool.
Always call all us if you need help.