Learn to drive
There is lots of information about what you should do and how you should do it, with regards to going to a driving school and getting professional tuition. But what about when you just want to jump in your car with L plates on (and a driver over 21 with a full car licence with 3 years’ experience under their belt of course!) and get out on the road to get valuable experience. It is definitely recommended that you combine this with professional tuition, so that any bad habits that are picked up are highlighted by your instructor.
Who should I drive with?
Anyone you practice your driving with (without paying them) must be over 21, they must be qualified to drive the type of vehicle you want to learn in, e.g. they must have a manual car licence if they’re supervising you in a manual car and they must have had their driving licence for 3 years. Although this is the legal requirement, it’s important that you feel relaxed and not under pressure when you get behind the wheel, so try and make sure that the person with you is normally calm in the car and has lots of patience.
Keep a log
It can be very useful to keep a log of your driving to pinpoint any points of focus for your instructor to work on with you. If you don’t note it down and forget what you are struggling with, then it will take much longer to get better at it.
When not under the watchful supervision of an instructor, it is easy to let standards slip, but try to obey the same standards even when with a relative or a friend.
- i) Try not to turn the radio on as it may distract you
- ii) Take time to adjust to different vehicles. There can be big differences between different models and makes of car such as power steering, car size etc.
- iii) Try and drive in all the different driving conditions. In the dry, in the wet, and night-time driving are just a few to speak of.
Getting on the road
When you are satisfied that you have accomplished all the necessary precautions before getting behind the wheel, then make sure you;
- i) clearly display front and rear L plates, making sure that you don’t obscure either registration plates on the car.
- ii) do not use a mobile phone whilst driving.
- iii) don’t drive under the influence of prescription drugs. Read all the bumf that goes with medication, so that you are sure you can drive whilst taking them.
- iv) only drive vehicles that are stated on your learner licence
- v) It goes without saying, but do not drink ANY alcohol prior to driving…just in case. No one can accurately tell whether they are over the limit without a breathalyzer and if you are stopped, pleading ignorance as a learner driver will not cut any ice.
When you get out there, be confident, be legal and above all, be safe.