Driving Instructors: Ten Things They Didn’t Teach You

Driving Instructors, as a general rule, know what they’re doing. But, let’s face it, lessons can be rushed and there’s only so much we can learn in controlled environments. Here’s ten things yours didn’t teach you…

Tucking In Mirrors And Wheels When Parked

When is your car most likely to be scraped or dented? Arguably, it’s whilst you’re parked up. Whether it’s on the side of the road or parked up at a shopping centre, leaving your mirrors or tyres facing outwards is just asking for someone to bump into them. By tucking in your mirrors and wheels (by straightening up the wheel) you’re giving other motorists less of an opportunity to damage your car. It’s also important that, when parked at the side of the road or pavement, that you give oncoming traffic and pedestrians as much space as possible.

Where To Put Your Hands On The Wheel

Traditionally, it’s been taught that drivers should hold their wheels at 10-to-2. The idea was that this gives drivers the most control over the vehicle, allowing them to make broad and decisive movements. However, this habit dates back to a time before airbags were prevalent. Using the 10-to-2 method is a great way to end up with broken thumbs and a fist flying into your own face in the event of a collision. Drivers should now be advised to drive 9-to-3 and to place their thumbs on the wheel itself rather than wrapping them around it; the more you know, right?

What To Do In Different Weather Conditions

In fairness to driving instructors, they’re not at liberty to simply expose all of their students to all of the weather conditions you’re bound to face over your driving career. That said, many of them don’t teach you even in abstract. For instance, you don’t need to have a lesson whilst it’s snowing in order for an instructor to explain the different conditions and hazards. It’s important to recognise that you’ll need to change your driving habits and style when confronted with different elements.

Why The Higher Gear Isn’t Always Best

This point may be somewhat controversial but many driving instructors encourage early gear changes. That is to say they’ll encourage you to go up a gear for its own sake. This is usually because they’re thinking about fuel economy and not because you’ll really need to be in 5th gear going around a sharp corner. The fact of the matter is the lower the gear the more control you’re going to have over the vehicle. If you’re in doubt, if you’re dealing with tight and narrow roads, slow down and opt for a lower gear; it’s safer and more comfortable.

Checking Your Tyre Pressures 

Whether this truly falls under a driving instructor’s remit or not is a matter of debate. Some instructors see their responsibilities as covering how to safely deal with road conditions and effectively controlling a car. Given that it’s underinflated or over-inflated tyres that cause the majority of breakdowns (and numerous accidents), we think the best instructors should advice their students on why they should regularly check and take car of tyres and how to go about doing just that.

The Dos And Don’ts Of Your Car’s Horns 

Fundamentally speaking, a car’s horn should be used to alert other drivers to your presence. It shouldn’t be used to chastise other motorists in an aggressive manner or to attract the attention of friends and family you pass on the street. Nevertheless, some driving instructors suffer from their own frustrations and road rage whilst out out the road (no, really). There’s sometimes a fine line between venting and alerting another driver to your own vehicle, make sure your instructor distinguishes between proper and improper use.

Splashing Pedestrians 

Splashing a pedestrian deliberately or through negligence is probably one of the most inconsiderate things a driver a can do. Not only that, drivers could also now face enormous fines of up to £5,000 under section three of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Whilst it’s unlikely you’ll be caught in the act, do you really want to take the risk? Take extra care when passing pedestrians in heavy rain, slow down before crossing through puddles and be considerate.

Hogging The Middle Lane

Until recently, learner drivers weren’t allowed to drive on motorways. This all changed on the 4th of June 2018 when the law was modified. Regardless, given the amount of drivers who insist on using the middle-lane for reasons other than overtaking remains staggering. Whether taking students for lessons on motorways or not, driving instructors should ensure that they’re conveying the most basis rules of using motorways and making lane changes.

Rubbernecking

Rubbernecking is the practice of slowing down whilst passing the scene of an accident or collision in order to stare. Not only is it unfair and unkind to those affected, it’s also dangerous as it takes your eyes off of the road. Driving instructors spend a lot of time in cars being driven around and it gets boring. They’re often just as likely to rubberneck as you are when they should be discouraging it outright.

Queue Jumping

You may have been approaching a roundabout at some stage and noticed a number of cars racing past in the right hand lane. You probably felt frustrated and angry that so many drivers were jumping the queue whilst you and many others were waiting patiently. Well, guess what? You’re in the wrong and they’re in the right. Zip-merges first appeared in America and are designed to reduce congestion. Motorists are meant to use both lanes and merge at the end of them before the roundabout. Entering the left hand lane prematurely makes congestion worse!

Know Any Learner Drivers? Learning’s Going To Cost Them £7,000 – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/learner-drivers-costs/

The Hardest Places In The World To Pass A Driving Test – https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/hardest-places-pass-driving-test/

The Autoserve Club can save you time, money and stress. Club Members can receive discounts on servicing and new tyres and will gain access to our professional 24/7 helpline. To learn more, contact our friendly Service Advisers on 0121 521 3500 today.

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