Being a new driver can be exciting and can open the door to a whole different world where you don’t have to depend on your friends, familyor the bus to go out. However, the first step to this new found freedom is to learn how to drive. This can be a stressful experience – from finding the right school and instructor who can match your learning style to applying for the provisional licence and preparing for your test.Learninghow to drive can be a painful process.
Thankfully, we have a few tips on how to make learning to drive as painless as possible.
1) Find an instructor who you are comfortable with
This is one of the most important parts of learning how to drive. Finding the right instructor, who matches your learning style and is willing to deviate from standard teaching practices is crucial to having a good learner’s experience. It is also important for you to become comfortable with the instructor as you will be spending a lot of time cooped up inside a car together. If you don’t like them after a few lessons, switch to a different instructor.
Moreover, if you are truly comfortable with the instructor then you can discuss any fears or issues you might have or are facing during your lessons. A good instructor will always keep your needs in mind and provide a few extra lessons on a specific area if needed.
2) Opt for intensive driving courses
Intensive driving courses are particularly useful if you are in a hurry to learn quick. Contrary to popular belief, crash courses do not mean that you will not be paid adequate attention or that you will be rushed during the learning process. These courses are specially designed to teach you as much as possible in a short amount of time. There is no denying that you will have to work hard during the five or seven-day course you have opted for, however, getting your licence without long and tedious lessons is worth it.
Intensive lessons can also save you considerable amount of money spent over many months of traditional driving lessons.For example,momentumdrivingschool.com offer a 5 day (20 hour) course for £612, whereas traditional lessons are on average £25 per hour and it’s recommended that you book 40 lessons, so you could be looking at spending around £1000. Furthermore, when driving lessons take place weekly, you are more likely to forget and lose confidence between lessons – intensive courses eradicate this problem as well.
3) Research before committing
Being prepared or doing thorough research before starting your lessons can be particularly helpful, especially if you are taking an intensive driving lesson. This includes knowing certain basics such as where the brake and clutch pads are in addition to knowing common driving rules and regulations. This can save you considerable time and hassle while learning as you don’t have to spend extra time memorising long lists of road signs and when to press down on the clutch or when to slow down/speed up your car. The more you know before, the better.
4) ‘Practice makes perfect’
The saying ‘practice makes perfect’ is not incorrect. The more you practice something, the easier it becomes. Even when taking a crash course in driving it is important to practice in the free time you have. Just remember to practice with experienced drivers – you can always ask your family to lend you a hand and point out any flaws in your driving. This can improve your driving style and make you learn this new skill faster.
5) Don’t be stressed before starting your lessons
Many people become stressed and nervous before taking a driving lesson. Stress can make you a slow and inefficient learner, which in turn can cost you in terms of time and money as driving schools usually charge by the hour. Hence, practice certain techniques to calm yourself before getting in the driver’s seat. These can include taking deep breaths, spending some time giving yourself a pep talk or simply choosing to spend the time before your lesson relaxing with friends or family.
6) Make a checklist
Learning how to drive can be difficult and frustrating. However, focusing on something as small as a checklist of things to do before starting your lesson or even during, can calm you down and give your confidence a boost. This checklist can include basics such as:
- Putting your seatbelt on
- Making sure that your mirrors are properly aligned
- Knowing where all the controls are
- Using both hands to control the steering wheel
- Checking the fuel gauge
- Checking the oil gauge, etc
While it is more than likely that the driving instructor will give you such a checklist to memorise, simply repeating the basics to yourself can make a significant difference in your performance. There’s also a checklist of things to consider before taking your test.
7) Discussany and all concerns with your instructor
This is what the driving instructor is there for – to teach you how to drive, answer your questions and solve your concerns. Hence, if you have any concerns or questions do not hesitate to ask your instructor as you need to know all the answers before you take your driving test. You don’t want to fail your test simply because you couldn’t answer a few simple questions.
8) Avoid common mistakes
Common mistakes such as not checking your mirrors, failing to properly observe your surroundings while parking or moving away or exceeding speed levels can make the entire process of learning very painful. Depending on where you are with your lessons, you can prepare a list of the main points you have learned with each lesson and review them before the next class. This will help you to avoid common mistakes which can affect your learning and performance.
Driving does not have to be a painful experience, especially if you follow the tips given above. Learning to drive can give you freedom and independence, and is also a lifelong skill which you will never forget. There are also many jobs which require you to have a driver’s licence, so having this one skill can potentially open up many employment opportunities for you in the future.