My parents are teaching me to drive

Owner of BIG TOM Driving School, Tom Ingram considers the pro’s & con’s of having parents teaching their son/daughter how to drive.

If I asked “What is 9×8?  What would you say?”

The reason I ask that question is because the answer begins to identify what kind of learner you are.  Some may have learned their times table by rote when they were in primary school and will instantly give the correct answer.  Others did not learn it by rote but given 15 seconds will work out what 10×8 is and then subtract 8.  Others might respond “I don’t know, I don’t care, I really don’t see the point of that question”.

When it comes to learning to drive, in their quest to assist you, Parents might revert to just telling you what to do, in the hope that, by doing so, you will do what they say, and therefore there will be no accidents (remember, they have NO dual control pedals).  This is logical, understandable, some might argue sensible but not entirely effective from a learning point of view.  Let’s try a different question:

“What distance would it take to stop a car travelling at 50mph?”

Again, you will either have studied that for your theory test and know it by rote, you may have known it for the test in your short-term memory but now it has faded from memory, you might take a stab at the answer (especially grateful if there is multiple choice), or you might respond “I don’t know, I don’t care, I really don’t see the point of that question”.

Having the means to correctly answer the 9×8 question will not, in the grand scheme of things, be a life-changer necessarily.  Knowing the answer to the second question might be a life-saver though for the following reason.  You drive at 50mph on a rural country road, approach a left bend where you cannot see around that bend, only to discover a flock of sheep on the road as you go round the bend but you instinctively recognise you cannot stop in time to avoid hitting the sheep, so you swerve to avoid them, and come off the road, hit a tree head on and die.  Far fetched?  Overly dramatic?  An unlikely, nonsense kind of example?  Maybe so, but it is the concept that is the important point, if you replace the “sheep” with a motorbike on your side of the road, or a tractor coming out of a field to your left on to your side of the road, or 2 walkers who are correctly walking towards you on your side of the road, or a horse rider riding their horse on the left side of the road, or a load of muck fallen off an agricultural vehicle slap bang in your path…… then you start to see that, actually, there is a fair bit of potential for any one of those events occurring… on a rural, country road.

At BIG TOM Driving School we make attempts to understand how you like to learn.  We listen intently to identify methods by which key safety techniques can be remembered in the long-term memory.  For the above example we can show you how you can use “limit points” to identify the severity of a bend so that you can adjust speed and gears ON THE APPROACH to the bend.  That…. could genuinely save your life.  I am not talking times tables here.  Would your parent be able to introduce “limit points” to you, or would they simply TELL you to slow down before the bend?  You see, if you are just told what to do and when to do it, how well is that going to prepare you for driving independently after you pass the test?

Our driving instructors are trained to listen intently so that any anxieties or concerns can be addressed in a positive, meaningful way; James Youds from Haconby recently attended the BIG TOM 5 Day Intensive Driving Course in Peterborough and he said this after passing his driving test:

“Chris was a brilliant instructor who adapted to my needs and listened to me when I had concerns”.

This makes for an effective, enjoyable learning environment, and as James has indicated to us, he has experienced a service that he would definitely recommend to his friends.

BIG TOM Driving School provides 5 Day Intensive Driving Courses in Peterborough, Grantham, Lincoln, Boston, Stamford, Spalding and Bourne – we will help you discover how you get your driving licence faster 0800 689 4174  or Email HERE


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