Tips for Learner Drivers
Learning to drive is a process that everyone goes through. No one just gets in a car and knows how to drive you need to learn how to drive. In NSW you have to tick a lot of boxes to get a provisional driving licence and it will take you more than a year. As a driving instructor I have prepared a list of tips for learner drivers to help guide you through the process.
The first tip is do not rush learning to drive. It takes time to learn to drive that is why the government has made it compulsory for learner drivers to complete 120 hours of driving. Don’t get frustrated if their is something you can not do straight away. Everyone struggles with at least one aspect of driving. Keep practicing and with time you will get better at it. You will not be able to do the driving test for a provisional drivers licence until you have completed 100 hours of day time driving and 20 night hours. So you have plenty of time to practice and perfect the various skills of driving.
Tips for learner drivers before you get in the car
- Review the road rules. When you are driving you will need to make decisions in fractions of a second. You will not have a lot of time to think about your answer
- Have a secure location to keep your drivers licence with you. You may be pulled over by the police and you must have your licence with you.
- Check the car you are going to drive in to make sure it is safe to drive. Make sure you check the brake lights, blinkers and tyres. It is illegal and dangerous to drive if the car is not roadworthy.
- Make sure your L Plates are clearly displayed at the front and rear of the vehicle.
- Make sure you have your learner log book with you and it is stored in a safe place whilst you are driving.
- Have a supervising driver with you who has a full drivers licence.
- Check you brake and blinker lights are working properly
- Make sure the tyres have good tread and are properly inflated
Things to do before you drive
- Get comfortable behind the wheel. Adjust the seat and head rest, make sure you are comfortable and that you can see properly. The head rest should be adjusted so that the top of the head rest is at least at eye level. You do not want to suffer a neck injury because you did not adjust the seat.
- Adjust the steering wheel so you have a good view of the road ahead as well as the instruemnt panel.
- Familiarise yourself with the instrument panel. Make sure you can clearly see the instrument panel. When a warning light comes on you want to see it and know what it means and what you should do.
- Adjust the mirrors and make sure you can see properly. You do not want to cause an accident because you could not see properly.
- Check you can operate the important car properly including blinkers, wipers, demisters, horn and hand brake.
Plan your driving lesson properly
- Know what you need to practice and improve on. Use your driving time to become a better driver. Don’t just rack up the hours, learn from the experience
- Learn something new and work your way through the learning goals at the front of your log book. The Roads & Maritime Services have given you a list of things you need to know for the driving test. Spend your time preparing for the test.
- Make sure each time you drive you build on what you already know and learn something new.
- Start out in quiet back street and develop the necessary skills for steering, road position, scanning and decision making. Then move into light traffic and get used more road users around you. Then when you are comfortable move into more traffic. Do not drive in conditions you are not ready for. Build up your skills and get ready for the conditions you are going to drive in.
- As your road skills improve add in more complex traffic and practice driving under adverse conditions.
- Get regular practice preferably at least once a week
- Practice on different roads unmarked roads, marked roads, multiple lane roads, quiet street and busy streets.
- Practice driving in different conditions including, peak hour traffic, rain, fog, sunrise, sunset, driving whilst distracted. Check out our web page offer for a FREE Keys2Drive lesson.
The more practice you get the better you will become at what you have practice. Make sure you practice on different roads and under different conditions. It is better if you learn to drive under every road condition with your supervising driver who can help and guide you. Some road conditions to practice on are
- Driving at Night
- Wet weather driving
- City Driving
- Country Driving
- Mountain driving
- Driving on unsealed (dirt) roads