“Well, that went better than I thought”, happily these are the immortal words I almost always hear from a nervous driver, particularly one who is starting out for the first time. To put it in simple language, a nervous driver who comes to me will do a lot better than they thought they would, so much so that at the end of the lesson they are smiling and looking forward to the next time. The first step is often the most difficult but once you face up to it and get it done, your confidence will increase and everything will be fine. I often find that it’s not the lesson that’s the problem but the thoughts of the lesson.
If you are nervous or anxious about driving there could be many reasons for this. Perhaps you lack confidence in your ability to drive? Maybe you had a previous bad experience with a passenger or other road user? Possibly you are learning or doing a test at a later age? Whatever the reason you have for being nervous I want to assure you that my style of instructing will be encouraging, calm and friendly. I am blessed with great patience and a love of this job.
For a nervous beginner I will never go straight out on the road. I normally find a quiet car park or industrial estate to go through the basics of car controls and starting and stopping. I will make sure that the learner driver is totally comfortable in the car by going through the cockpit drill, this is a detailed explanation of what the controls of the car ( such as wipers, lights and demisters) are used for as well as making sure you have your seat, headrest and mirrors properly adjusted. This is very important as it is vital to feel comfortable and confident in your surroundings. It will be done in an area that is safe and well away from other vehicles which makes it easier for the learner to digest the information.
I will never force a learner out onto the road unless they are happy to do so. You will drive on the road in your own time when you are ready and once we are out on the road I will often get you to stop in a safe place on the side of the road or in a car park so we can discuss the new skills you learned and challenges you faced on your most recent driving route, this will also be a chance for you to ask any questions you may have. I will encourage you to self analyse, which is where you tell me about any mistakes or difficulties you may have faced on the route we just drove. I feel the more self analysis you do about your driving, then the more interactive you are in the driving lessons, which is vital to the learning process.
I understand that the thought of learning to drive or getting back in the car after a previous bad experience can be daunting and intimidating. I want you to know that I will be there beside you building your confidence and making you a better safer driver for life. Always remember the more questions you ask, the better. There is no such thing as a stupid question.