Eager learners are getting back behind the wheel as driving lessons resume across the country after months of lockdown caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The UK’s largest pre-17 driving school, Young Driver, asked 1,000 motorists what advice they would give to youngsters just starting out on their driving journey as learners or newly qualified drivers.
The study revealed that having good manners, being alert, and assuming other drivers may act erratically all top the bill as some of the most valuable advice to impart.
Top 10 most popular pieces of advice:
- Be patient with other drivers and always show consideration of others
- Take your time learning – and remember that you’re still learning to drive even when you pass your test
- Never lose concentration, even for a second
- Be aware of your speed – don’t go too fast but make sure it’s appropriate for the circumstances
- Never forget to mirror, signal, manoeuvre or to check your blind spot
- Be aware of other road users and don’t assume anyone will act a certain way – even if they’re signalling be cautious
- Always watch the car in front, and never get too close
- Don’t panic, it doesn’t help any situation
- Practice as much as possible but also have a qualified, professional instructor teaching you properly
- Be confident – but not over-confident
Other frequently mentioned pieces of driving wisdom included never to use your phone or be distracted by music or technology; taking motorway lessons and practising on a variety of types of roads; not driving when tired or having had a drink; not to pay attention to bullies on the road; and to take time to look at and understand the Highway Code.
One useful piece of advice given by two motorists aged 45-54 was to imagine the driver in front or the cyclist you pass is someone you love, and to keep your distance to protect you both. Several other respondents to the survey shared their thoughts on watching your speed, declaring that it’s ‘Better to be late than never arrive’.
“We wanted to see what advice those who had been driving for, in some cases, decades would pass on to new drivers,” said Sue Waterfield, head of marketing for Young Driver, which offers driving lessons for 10-17 year olds at 70 venues across the UK.
“There were some really fantastic responses but I think our favourite was ‘Be proud of driving safely’. It’s something we really try to instil in our pupils – being a good driver is something we should all be proud of and it takes real skill and determination.
“It’s the premise behind Young Driver, helping young people extend the time over which they learn to drive so they can really feel confident in their abilities.
“We hoped the research might also be useful for parents helping their children learn to drive and worrying about how to keep them safe behind the wheel.
“We have launched a book with motoring expert Quentin Willson called ‘Learn to Drive Without Tears and Tantrums’ which is a guide for parents and teens going through the often stressful journey of learning to drive. “
Young Driver has given more than 800,000 driving lessons to 10-17 year olds across the UK. Lessons are given in dual controlled Vauxhall Corsa SE Premium, by a fully qualified instructor.
Taking place on private property, road systems are created with junctions, roundabouts, signs and traffic lights, and the lessons allow pupils to learn how to brake, steer, change gear, park and undertake manoeuvres as they would on the road at 17.