April #WheelTalkers: Getting The Most Out Of Your Driving Lessons

Last night we hosted the second of our monthly #WheelTalkers Twitter chat. The topic was driver's education and we were lucky enough to get some tips from Hazel, an experienced driving instructor.

What advice would you give to learners who are particularly anxious about driving?

My advice to people who are feeling anxious about driving would be to prepare well. There are so many things you can do to get ready for your first lesson which help with confidence, such as starting some theory practice to improve your overall knowledge. Watch family and friends drive and, if you can, ask them questions.

Watching YouTube videos between lessons can help as well, especially if you have a bit of a break between lessons.

Are there any misconceptions that people commonly have about learning to drive?

Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors! Exaggerating your head movements to show you're looking in your mirrors is really not necessary. Obviously good all-round observations and awareness are crucial to good driving, but there's no need to jar your neck in the process! We can see your eyes moving.

Also lesson plans are not set in stone, so communicate your concerns, likes and dislikes with your instructor. Good communication with your instructor is key as there is a lot about the lesson structure and content we can change to suit the individual pupil.

Driving tests have changed over the years. Are there any areas you feel should be covered?

Motorway driving would be great, as of course we are unable to cover this on the provisional driving licence. Pass Plus is optional but not enough people choose to go down this route after passing their test. Don't forget it can bring the price of your insurance premium down!

What are your top three tips to help people feel more relaxed behind the wheel?

Try not to drive when tired, hungry or thirsty. Bring water along to your lessons with you.

Plan your lesson time carefully, where possible. Driving after a hectic day at work or college can just add to the stress, especially for beginners.

Perhaps once the basics are established try driving with some quiet radio or music on in the background. It doesn't work for everyone, but the majority of people find it helps them to feel more relaxed.

Do you have any experience teaching students with dyspraxia?

Yes, I have taught quite a few students with dyspraxia. It can affect coordination, so we can gesture with lefts and rights and include exercises in the initial stages of training to help with this. Again, be open with your instructor and don't let this put you off learning to drive. There are plenty of things we can do to help.

What's your favourite thing about your job?

I'd have to say the nice mix of people and the huge sense of achievement when a student passes their test!

Hazel can be found here: Hazel's Driving School.

A lot of people shared their driving anxieties during the chat and a common one that kept popping up was the fear of failure.

Tweet about fear of failure

Tweet about failing your driving test

Tweets about driving lessons

Also, hill starts! No disagreements here, I HATED them with a passion.

Tweets about hill starts

When asked what they felt should be covered in driving lessons, suggestions included basic car maintenance and motorway driving.

Tweet about car care

Opinions were mixed as to whether driver's education should be taught in schools.

Tweets about driver's ed

We'd like to say a huge thank you to Hazel from Hazel's Driving School, and to all the people that joined in last night. We found the chat really interesting and we hope you did too. The next one will be taking place at 8pm on Wednesday 3rd May. You can find us on Twitter here.