Top 10 tips: Driving instructors advise learners how to pass their test first time
The global pandemic really slowed everything down. In the UK alone, 70 per cent of driving instructors currently have a waiting list of people who want to learn how to drive. Revealed as part of research from the pre-17 driving school, Young Driver, there is also a long backlog for driving tests.
For many learner drivers, the last two years has seen their journey to driving independence put on hold as tests and lessons faced long delays.
Of course, one thing that would really help to cut down waiting time is for learner drivers to pass their test on the first take. Or, they face a lengthy wait for a second try.
To help them achieve this, Young Driver asked 150 of its qualified driving instructors for their top tips that learners should grasp to pass first time.
Here’s the advice straight from the experts:
- Don’t copy what your peers or parents are doing behind the wheel – they may have picked up bad habits. Listen to what your ADI says and follow their guidance.
- Be a back seat driver – pay attention as a passenger when other people are driving. Put down the phone and watch the road to see how you would handle certain situations.
- Learn to read other road users – but understand that some will not follow the rules, so you have to be able to forward plan and always ask yourself ‘what if…’. Don’t assume anything!
- Learn the theory not just to pass the test but because it will make you a better driver
- Utilise digital aids like the Young Driver App – it has 360-degree VR driving lessons you can watch and rewatch to refine your driving technique.
- Using your mirrors and checking blindspots needs to become second nature whenever you’re in a car, for the rest of your driving life. Always be alert to cyclists and motorcyclists.
- Be patient and courteous – never let your temper get the better of you.
- Reflect on constructive criticism – there’s always something more we can learn. Passing your test will not be the end of your learning journey, so continue to try and improve your technique.
- Never lose concentration for a second – that’s all it takes to have an accident or fail your test.
- Get as much experience as possible – ideally pre-17, on the road with your instructor and private practice with a suitable family member or friend in their car. Practice really does make perfect!
Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “One of the reasons Young Driver was established was so that teens can learn the mechanics of driving a car before they’re anywhere near a real road.
“If they can smoothly change gear and handle a vehicle ahead of 17, they can then spend their on-the-road lessons learning the finer points of driving – such as how to judge potential hazards and how to deal with other road users,” she added.
“That’s why Young Driver past pupils are less likely to have an accident when they do go on to pass their test.”
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