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 DVSA (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 the 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/friends to ensure pupils gain the maximum benefit.
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. 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 to help other road users, junctions, roundabouts.
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 361640 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… 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 us if you need help.
The latest edition of ‘The Official DVSA Guide to Driving – The Essential Skills’ is a comprehensive guide providing you with everything you need to learn and maintain safe driving skills for life. It also includes details on independent driving and many other useful tips that will help your skills develop.
‘Roadcraft – The Police Drivers Handbook’ published by the Police Foundation is full of excellent information on how to drive safely in all conditions.
This can be purchased using the links above.
Call Love Driving School to book today 07855 361640