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Helping young drivers be safe

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There are many ways of  helping young drivers be safe and feel secure on the roads. Studies have shown that learner drivers who combine tuition from an Approved Driving Instructor with extra help from a friends and family are significantly safer on the roads than those who rely on professional tuition alone.

How you can Help

Before volunteering your services to family or friends, you will need to make sure you adhere to certain guidelines, including ensure you have been in possession of a valid driving license for the vehicle you and the learner will be using (automatic or manual), and you must be at least 21 years of age. It is essential to ascertain whether the learner driver is covered on the vehicle’s motor insurance policy and that the insurance company are aware of the person’s age.

Revise Your Skills

It is quite a responsibility helping a learner driver and as such you should prepare yourself as much as possible. A good first step is to revise your own knowledge, perhaps with a specific advanced driving course or perhaps by familiarising yourself with the current Highway Code. It is a good idea to speak to the learner driver’s instructor to ensure they are a suitable candidate to undertake extra tuition at this stage and if the instructor is agreeable, attend some of the lessons to be kept up-to-date with the learner’s progress. Once you are confident in your own abilities you can begin to help the learner with their driving skills.

Are They Ready?

Make sure that the learner realises that you are there to provide extra support, not to teach them altogether new skills. The person will need a valid provisional driving license and will need to be confident with basic manoeuvres including the emergency stop.

Is your Vehicle Suitable?

As you check your car is safe and prepared, allow the learner to get involved with details such as lights, tyres, oil and water checks. This is extremely helpful as they will be required to prove they are able to do this in the practical driving test. It is a particular advantage if your car and the professional driving instructor’s car are similar in size and power. Anytime the learner is driving the car, ensure L plates are displayed (of D plates in Wales).

Preparation

Planning is imperative and you should prepare the routes you intend to use in advance. Begin with shorter journeys and gradually increase the amount of driving time as their skills progress. As the learner improves, add variety to the drives and change the conditions so they will be used to them when they pass the test and are driving alone. Allow them to experience driving in both dry and wet conditions, in sparsely populated areas and built up areas, during the day and in darkness, and on roads with various speed limits. Although learner drivers are not permitted to drive on motorways, they should experience driving on dual and single carriageways.

Off You Go!

It is unsurprising that a learner driver may be a little nervous at first and it is important to reassure them.keeping young drivers safe You will also need to remain calm and sure of your own abilities so the learner will feel secure. Remain positive and only raise your voice in extreme circumstances. As a driver with a lot of experience you may think you know best, but do not offer advice that differs from that given by the professional instructors: you do not want to confuse the learner.

Good Habits Make for Happy Drivers

Instilling even the most basic of habits makes for safer drivers so do remind the learner to use the mirrors, signal, manoeuvre mantra. It is also important to check the speedometer regularly so do be vocal about this and encourage them to check both the speed limit and the speed at which they are travelling.

Reacting to Mistakes

Should the learner take a wrong turn, simply offer an alternative route to get them back on track. If an emergency occurs and they are putting you or someone else in danger, ensure they pull over to a safe spot and go through what occurred. Remain calm but reiterate the importance of safety at all times and assess what went wrong.

It’s a Pass!

You may think your job is done, but in fact, this is where serious problems can arise. Now they are no longer a learner, a qualified driver can drive alone and one in five newly qualified drivers are involved in accidents during their first year of driving. Continue providing a few lessons after the test, especially on motorways and in potentially dangerous driving conditions such as heavy rain or icy weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Denise Morgan

About Denise Morgan

Denise has five years' experience writing for various web-based companies. During this time she has also contributed to magazine articles and brochures. In addition to writing, Denise is a gigging singer/songwriter and is proud to have featured on the first series of BBC One's The Voice UK, having been selected by the great Sir Tom Jones. Denise is mother to the most talented and ridiculously intelligent two year old that has ever been and ever will be (until she creates another one that is). This kind of hyperbole is restricted only to her progeny and is not a reflection of her usual writing styles... Denise and her son live in Manchester along with their five cats - yes that's right, five.

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