Supervising a trainee driver is not easy. To begin with, you need to make sure you can do so safely and legally, so you don’t get in trouble! Still, with enough prep work and knowing what to do, it’s possible to do it and do it well. Sol, let’s get into how supervising friends or family learning to drive a car works!
The requirements to start
If you want to help supervise friends or family learning to drive a car to let them get ready to drive, there are some prerequisites you need to fulfil.
- You need to be older than twenty-one.
- The car you are using must display the L Plates.
- You need to have a full driving licence for at least three years, and it naturally needs to cover the type of vehicle you are helping them with.
- You need to meet the minimum eyesight standards.
- You and the learner must be well acquainted with the latest edition of The Highway Code.
- You need to avoid any intake of alcohol or other mind-altering substances.
Although it is not an actual requirement, it is also advised that you take an advanced driving course or a driver assessment to make sure you remember everything you need to teach.
Some practical prep work needed
Of course, there’s some work to be done on the car you will be using before supervising friends or family learning to drive a car. First, of course, you must ensure that the car is safe to drive and in legal condition to be on the road. In other words, it is appropriately licensed, taxed, and has a valid MOT. Remember, too, that the L Plates we mentioned already need to be on both the front and rear end of the car while the student is driving! Afterwards, you should immediately remove them. It would also be helpful to buy an interior rear-view mirror for the passenger’s side. That would allow you to have a good view of everything that’s happening yourself. Thus, giving you ample time to react if the trainee driver does something they shouldn’t.
Plan your route well ahead of time
It is not smart to go driving through a city with a trainee driver at the wheel and with no plan in mind. That’s how you end up in an accident or put them through a much more stressful situation than they need to handle still. For example, getting caught up in a rush hour as a trainee driver can lead to serious mistakes. Even the experts from professionalmoverottawa.com, who frequently have to train new truck drivers, advise setting a route beforehand. You can start them off easy by first guiding them through more deserted and easily navigable streets. Then, when you believe them to be ready, you can slowly ramp up the difficulty. Of course, gauge the difficulty with the skill level in mind. If you are doing so from your perspective, you can easily underestimate a street’s difficulty.
Consult with the person’s driving instructor
There are professional driving instructions because they are necessary. They are trained and experienced in helping trainee drivers build their skills and confidence. As such, there is no reason to approach the task of supervising friends or family learning to drive a car on your own! You shouldn’t hesitate to ask them for advice since it is their job to support their students. If you have trouble following some of our previous advice, such as being unsure of what routes to use on your learning drives, they’ll be able to help you out immensely. You can consult them about whether you can legally help out a trainee driver, too! Especially if you are uncertain whether you fulfil all the listed criteria.
Be calm and patient with your friend or family member
We said it before, but your goal is to help the trainee driver build skill and confidence. The latter may not seem like much, but it is highly harmful to a driver to lack surety. That is why professional instructors pay a lot of attention to overcoming the fear of driving. If a driver is not confident, they will freeze up immediately when something dangerous or threatening happens on the road. That massively increases the chance of a fatal accident happening. So, take your time, be patient with them, and try your best to avoid snarky comments or shouting at them.
Do not rush the lessons
There is a pace at which people learn, and, as the proverb goes, trying to learn how to fly before learning how to crawl will only result in tragedy. For example, it is hardly beneficial to try and force them to learn how to combat fatigue when driving when they’ll only be driving short distances. Similarly, you wouldn’t take someone learning to make it down a street into a high-traffic highway. That’s just asking for an accident to happen and is no benefit for them.
Teach responsibility through example
Instructing driving etiquette is the final aspect of supervising friends or family learning to drive a car. That has two aspects to it. First is safe driving habits, such as no smoking, drinking, playing with your phone, etc. If they see you doing it, they’ll feel comfortable with the idea of doing it themselves. And then likely get into some sort of an accident! The second aspect is plain polite behaviour on the road. Such as no constant honking, blasting your lights at the light and blinding other drivers, etc. It will help keep them safe and ensure they don’t end up becoming a menace on the road.
With our tips, supervising friends or family learning to drive a car safely and productively should be possible. Remember that, as we noted already, you must take your time and let them conquer the lessons step by step.