Over the few years that I have been a driving instructor, I've taught a lot of learner drivers how to drive a car safely, who have then gone on to pass the UK driving test, and my experience has led me to one conclusion, learner drivers are lazy!
If you are currently learning to drive, don't take this as a personal insult on all the effort and money you've put into your driving lessons so far, allow me to explain myself.
Many learner drivers taking lessons with an Approved Driving Instructor think that all the work to gain the required skills to safely control a car and be totally prepared for the DSA driving test has to be done in the car with the ADI, and once the hour or so of tuition is over they don't have to think about anything driving related until the next lesson (especially if they have passed the theory test). These same learners want to pass their driving test in the shortest amount of time, spend the least amount of money on driving lessons, yet won't go the extra mile to give themselves the best chance of achieving their goal, afterall they are paying a professional driving instructor to do the work for them!
Your ADI must earn his keep by providing you with a quality tuition service while in the car, but there is more that many instructors can do for their pupils in the way of advice if only the learners were willing to take it on board.
Lets start from the very first lesson a provisional driving licence holder takes with no previous driving experience, the controls lesson. Some people will be able to take on board everything they have learnt, while others might struggle, so I suggest to those who find things difficult to sit in a car (a friend's, family, neighbour), go over what we've covered (including finding the biting point if possible) before the next lesson, and guess what they say at the beginning of the next lesson? 'Sorry I didn't have the time' or 'I didn't remember'.
I'm not having a rant here, I'm actually trying to help you learner drivers to save money, because everytime a pupil doesn't do the extra work that I've suggested them to do, it means more money for me in driving lessons and that's fine with me!
1. Don't stop reading the highway code just because you have passed the DSA theory test, you can never have too much knowledge when preparing for an examination, and the DSA practical driving test is an exam. You can read it on the way or back from work, and a road sign or marking that you covered recently maight come up on the test, and you'll be able to smile because you know the appropriate action to take. I can safely say that the majority of learner drivers toss their theory test preparation materials and the highway code in a corner once they've passed!
2. Have a Driving Journal. Use this to make notes of things that you need to remember for the next lesson, and read it before your next session with your ADI. The best time to update your journal is after you've had your lesson, tips that your instructor might have given you will be fresh in your mind, so you can write them down before you forget.
3. You don't always need to be in a driving school car to be learning or practicing your driving skills. While being a passenger in a car, you can be testing your observation skills such as spoting gaps in traffic when emerging at a 'T' junction or roundabout. In my post about Mini Roundabouts, I suggested that those having problems spoting gaps in the traffic should stand by a roundabout and practice judging when there is a gap, I wonder how many people would be willing to do that, especially now that winter is here and it is cold. Yet many would complain that learning to drive is expensive, when you could dramatically reduce costs by doing a little extra work without your driving instructor.
These are just a few tips that could help you as a learner drive make progess in your goal to achieve a full UK driving licence, your individual instructors might have additional advice which would be suited to your particular circumstance, so ask if there is anything you could do inbetween your driving lessons.
Not all learner drivers are lazy, and if you have read this post upto this point, then you are willing to at least do something to improve your learning process, why not go that extra mile and implement some of the suggessions I've mentioned above, hopefully you will enjoy your instructor driving lessons more and be better prepared for the driving test.
I hope this post has challenged you to do something, and would be interested in hearing your comments.
Dealing with mini roundabouts.