Passing a driving test is not the end of your learning to drive experience. It is just the beginning.
“You only start to learn to drive after passing your test”.
This statement is one often heard by professional driving instructors and indeed some instructors might use it as well.
What does it actually mean? One might guess that the answer is “You never drive the same way after you pass your test. After passing, you can drive as you like and learn by your mistakes”. Learning by your mistakes is something we all have in common. Not just in the process of driving a car, but in all life experiences. Car driving, however, can be more dangerous than other pursuits when mistakes are made.
Observations and car control
Observations and car control are two categories that are scrutinised on a driving test by the examiner. Losing control of a car and not observing adequately have to be the two top categories that are examined on a driving test. When either of those is lacking, an accident is a possibility. Other skills are essential of course, such as anticipation, planning, rules of the road courtesy to other road users. They will, however, form the basis of a continuous learning experience.
Driving a car calls for total concentration at all times. Using a mobile phone, listening to loud music, feeling tired or sick, being emotional about a situation. These are all possible situations you will encounter in your life. While on your driving lessons you would have had a driving instructor who kept a close eye on developing hazards. If you are having lessons right now or had experiences in the recent past, think about the time your instructor had to help you out of a difficult situation.
That’s the time an accident could have occurred. Now that you have a goal of passing a driving test in the future might be a good time to reflect on how would you cope when driving unaided? Are you confident enough to navigate that busy roundabout? Maybe that steep hill you used to roll back on is causing concern. To help raise your confidence in these areas or any other areas for unease. Practise when its a quiet time on the road. Go to that usually busy roundabout and keep going to it on calm days. The same applies to that steep hill. Go and practise driving away smoothly as often as you can.
Staying focused on driving lessons
Staying focused on driving lessons is a key factor to your safety once your test is passed. After passing a driving test you are on your own. It’s like learning to swim without your ‘water wings’. Every driving lesson you have a driving instructor is with you.So pay attention to their advice and ask questions, make notes. Reading the Highway Code and other DVSA publications will raise your awareness. This will also boost your confidence. Apart from passing a driving test first time, it will give you more confidence when you are on your own.
Coaching and passing a driving test
The latest method of learning driver training is based on coaching. This type of coaching moves away from the old method of learning to drive by direct instruction. Coaching encourages learner drivers to think for themselves early on with their lessons. Hopefully this will carry through once being qualified to drive alone. The more times you drive independently with your instructor acting as a supervisor, the more confident you will become.