Private practice time while learning to drive is an important part of gaining vital experience behind the wheel before taking the driving test. Here are IAM Roadsmart’s Top 10 Tips for supervising a provisional driving licence holder from head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman.
Top 10 Tips for supervising a provisional driving licence holder from IAM RoadSmart
- You must be at least 21 years old and have held a full driving licence for a minimum of three years.
- Your own licence must be for the same type of vehicle that you are going to supervise the learner in and the vehicle must display “L” plates.
- As the responsible person, you are deemed to be in control of the car when you are supervising a learner driver. Therefore, the same road traffic laws apply to you as to the driver, e.g. not supervising a learner driver whilst under the influence or using a hand-held mobile phone.
- As the responsible person, you must ensure the vehicle is in a safe and roadworthy condition; showing the learner how to carry out checks to ensure the vehicle is safe to use on the road is also a valuable exercise – you can get a copy of the driving test ‘show me tell me’ questions here.
- Ideally, fit an additional mirror to use as a rear-view mirror from the passenger seat; a suction mirror like the types used to view children in the back is suitable and these are widely available and not expensive to purchase.
- Talk to the learner’s driving instructor regularly and devise a practice plan to make the best use of your time and experience – taking a learner somewhere too advanced for their skills could do more harm than good.
- Keeping calm pays off and saves any heated arguments with the learner behind the wheel that could prove to be a danger.
- Keep your instructions precise and in good time, remembering that a learner will need to have time to process the information and then plan what to do. A useful guide to sitting with a novice can be found here.
- Setting a good example and explaining what you are doing when driving can be really helpful as it gives the learner an insight into what you are observing, anticipating and planning, giving them time to ask questions without being in the driving seat.
- Last but not least, remember things might be different since you learnt to drive so when the learner says: “but my driving instructor says I should do it like this” do take note – you can always check with the instructor later.
“Research proves that a combination of professional lessons and extra practice builds experience and can give a new driver a firm foundation for a safe driving career. Driving is a life skill so approach it properly with a good plan and a clear idea of how your miles together fit in with the approved syllabus.”
To find out more about IAM RoadSmart – the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists – click here.