Let’s face it: learning to drive can be a really stressful time for both learner and teacher. There is a lot of information to take in, and that combined with first time jitters is a recipe for conflict. But in the end it can be a very rewarding process, especially when you’re teaching your own child. Once you get past the “stalling in the middle of the intersection” stage, there will be plenty of laughs and little road trips to make it all worthwhile. To help make things easier for you, we’ve put together 5 quick tips so you can keep your sanity when you and the kids hit the road.
Don’t forget – all learners must hold a valid Learner license, and be supervised at all times by the holder of a full Australian driver license.
1. Before you get behind the wheel, it’s a good idea to do your homework. Read the owner’s manual for the car you’ll be driving, and freshen up your driver knowledge with the Road Users’ Handbook. You might be a great driver, but road rules change all the time and you want to make sure you’re teaching your learner the most up-to-date driving techniques.
2. Now you’re ready to hop into the car. Don’t turn on the ignition just yet – first, give a thorough run down of all the controls. That means wind wipers, air conditioning, brakes, throttle, blinkers and everything else in between. Just explain in simple terms what each is used for, and give a demo if necessary.
3. When starting out, pick a road with minimal traffic. An empty car park is ideal. Exercise patience and remain calm at all times. Clearly explain yourself, including judgment calls that need to be made and potential hazards. Give constructive commands like “that green car ahead is indicating left, so we want to slow down to let them turn. Press gently on the brake and then adjust your throttle into second gear.”
4. Work in increments. Start on slower roads, build up to suburban areas and finally graduate to city roads and highways.
5. Finally, rehearse for the Provisional 1 test and log hours as you go. You can read more about what is in the driving test here. Learners will be eligible to take the test after completing 120 hours of driving time including 20 hours driving at night.
What is your experience with teaching someone to drive? Love it or hate it?