Winter Driving Lesson snow from on High
It was a typical winter driving day in January, and weather forecasters had said there was a high chance that it was going to snow, so I wasn't surprised when my pupil Janet (not her real name) called requesting that I cancel her driving lessons for the day.
She had a 2 hour first driving lesson booked, was a new pupil to me and had never driven a car before and since this was going to be her first time in the driving seat, I could understand why she was a bit nervous. It was still early in the day, with no sign of snow yet, so I told her the lessons were still going ahead, and I would call her if things changed before her lesson.
A few minutes before 3:30pm I pulled up into her school parking lot, and got told off by her head teacher for parking inside the school property! Janet turned up not long after that, we introduced ourselves and I drove off to a quiet road not to far away and parked the car. I explained that because this was her first driving lesson, she would not be driving straight away, but first I was going to give her a controls lesson which involved learning the cockpit drill and being introduced to the controls of the car. We changed seats, and for the next 40 minutes or so we did the controls lesson where she learnt the cockpit drill (DSSSM), the foot pedals, what they did, how to use them, the instructions I would use if I wanted her to do something, and some of the other controls in the car.
With the controls driving lesson finished, it was now time to do some driving, so I explained that we will start with just moving off and stopping on a straight road, so she could get used to the controls, and become comfortable with actually being in control of a car. As usually I got the Oh No! reaction, but I reassured her that she was not going to crash the car, and that I would keep her safe.
I proceeded to give her a briefing on what we were going to do next on the driving lesson, how important MSM was and it was time! Being a young 17 year old who was very keen on driving, she did well, and after a while was moving off and stopping confidently, that I thought it was time to introduce her first junction as we still had some time on our hands.
We now had to deal with approaching junctions to turn left, and as usual I give a briefing explaining what we are about to do and how we are going to do it, and then we started practising. Janet turns out to be a fast learner, so picks up the skill easily, so we just continued practising moving off and stopping as well as turning left. With about 30 minutes to go before the driving lesson ends, it starts snowing, lightly at first so we continue with the lesson, then it gets a bit heavier, so we have to turn on the wipers. With 15 minutes to go, it becomes even heavier, and I decide that we have to stop as the snow is now settling and the road markings were beginning to get covered. Janet had been a wonderful pupil, performed well and handled the pressure well. We park the car, I give a summary of what we have done and ask her how she felt.
She was over the moon, explaining that she had been anxious about learning to drive, which is why she had called earlier to cancel using the weather as an excuse, but she had really enjoyed herself and learnt a lot during the lesson's 2 hours.
We swapped seats again, and I drove her home, I never quite made it to her home, as the traffic was very heavy due to the snow, but we got close enough for her to walk the remaining distance.
Janet went on to be one of my favourite pupils, and has now passed her test. She never would have guessed on her first driving lesson that she would actually be driving a car with snow falling from the sky!