Teaching someone to drive is a stressful experience. There are so many things they need to know; it can be overwhelming trying to work out which pearls of wisdom you need to lay down first. To help you get started, below are 6 lessons that you really can’t go past.
1. Accident Prone
One of the most important lessons for an L plater is what to do in an accident. This includes pulling over and turning on hazard lights, exchanging details with other drivers for insurance purposes, and changing a tire or calling roadside assistance. Another handy tip is to inform L platers of the professional agencies, such as Motor Accident Legal Service, that are available if they ever need to make an injury claim.
2. Blind Spots
Not checking blind spots is still a major cause of vehicle accidents, even for more experienced drivers. Regularly reminding your learner what blind spots are as well as how and when to check them is a lesson they will take with them into adulthood.
Parking is one life lesson you can’t go past, as there are so many different forms – including the dreaded reverse parallel park. For example, demonstrate how to park in carparks, forward and reverse for those tight spots, and perform reverse angle parks.
4. Road Conditions
The most extreme driving conditions you will probably let an L plater out in is a light spattering of rain – handy, but not a realistic sample of the adverse conditions they might need to drive in one day. There are professional programs available designed to simulate challenging driving conditions such as ice and other slippery surfaces. A lesson in this will be a lesson for life, as every driver will encounter dangerous weather at some point.
5. Know Your Car
An L plater doesn’t have to be a mechanic, but they should know the basics. Show them how to listen to the revs of the engine, how the steering wheel should feel when turning, how the brakes work when driving down mountains, and the main items under the bonnet, as well as how to check and change the oil. This is also handy when it comes to having a vehicle fixed or serviced.
6. Save It
An important lesson often not made clear to L Platers is the cost involved in having a license and owning a vehicle. For example, go through annual costs such as registration fees, insurance and servicing, as well as more regular costs including general maintenance and petrol. It’s also important to suggest putting away money for licenses fees or unexpected costs in the event of an accident or vehicle malfunction.
If you’re still unsure about the best approach to teaching an L plater, try thinking about it from the perspective of where you are as a driver in your own life. What do you wish you’d been taught, and what is the most valuable piece of driving knowledge to you now? Ask yourself these questions, then just work backwards from there.