Family & Friends Guide to Driver Training

Learner drivers take an average of 47 hours of professional lessons and an additional 22 hours with family or friends. The more experience a young driver can get before heading out on their own, the better. If you’re a parent or family friend planning to take a learner out for extra practice, we have some advice on how to get the most out of your time on the road together.

  • Do make sure your car is roadworthy, that it’s taxed, properly insured and has an MOT certificate. Check the tyres have at least 1.6mm tread depth and that all windows are clean and the wiper blades are working.
  • Work with the driving instructor. Plan sessions that will reinforce what has been learnt in recent lessons. Ask if you can sit in on a lesson to see how manoeuvres are being taught or pick up other coaching tips.
  • Listen to the instructor. If they feel the student isn’t ready to go out without a dual control car, then wait a bit longer before you take them for a drive. They need to be confident with all the basic controls and performing an emergency stop first.
  • Use a route that isn’t too long and is familiar to both you and the learner. You don’t need to start from home – it may be better to drive to another location first if you want to avoid any tricky junctions or focus on particular manoeuvres.
  • Be clear with your instructions, and give them in plenty of time.
  • Don’t chat too much, but do point out hazards and repeat details of instructions as you go along.
  • Don’t play music or have other distractions on in the car. You will both need to have your full attention on the road.
  • Stay calm and be patient. The learner is more likely to make a mistake if they’re feeling flustered. If they do something really wrong, ask them to pull over somewhere safe so they can concentrate while you explain what happened.
  • Let them know when they’ve done something right. Reinforce good behaviour - don’t just point out the mistakes.
  • Do work on learning the Highway Code together. You’d be amazed at what you may have forgotten yourself over the years!

If you would like to know more about what the law says about supervised driving, record keeping, pre-drive checks, routes, training techniques and much more click here.

Once they have successfully completed their driving test they will be legally qualified to drive on any road in the country. However, the current driving test does not require them to demonstrate their skills on motorways and many new drivers approach their first motorway journeys with trepidation and significant gaps in their knowledge of these fast and busy roads. To put both their, and your, minds at rest, why not encourage them to take advantage of Somerset Road Safety's free Up To Speed programme.

They may also benefit from taking a Pass Plus course, which takes around 6 hours and is a paid programme with an ADI. Find out more about what’s covered and where to book here



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