Tips for teaching friends and family to drive.

As the third lockdown starts to ease and with the possibility of driving lesson beginning on April 12th You may well have find yourself teaching a family member or friend to drive. Teaching a family member or friend to drive can be daunting task and you may worry that you may pass on some habits you have picked up as an experienced driver, but do not worry I have put together this blog to give you an idea of how to teach people to drive!

Legally, what do I need to know and what do I need to do?

So, there are rules concerning who can be a supervising driver, what you need to be able to supervise and who is responsible for what! Legally both you and the driver will be 50% responsible for anything that happens in the car while you are acting as a supervising driver.

Do not use a mobile phone when the car is being driven its 6 points and a hefty fine.

Do not go on a motorway unless you are an ADI.

Make sure the person you are supervising has a valid UK provisional driving license.

Make sure the provisional licence holder is insured to drive the vehicle.

Make sure the car has a valid MOT and road tax.

For you to be able to supervise a provisional licence holder you must be over 21 years of age and have had a valid full UK driving licence for 3 years minimum.

The following link will take you to Union’s useful info page which covers most of the information you will need in more detail.

First time out are you a bit nervous?

It normal for both you the supervising driver and the person being taught, particularly for the first time. The best advice I can give is for you the teacher to drive to an area that is quite and out of the way for the first time, give both yourself and the student time to get used to the fact that they are being taught by someone else, and for you to get used to the idea that you are in control!

Is the area we are driving in safe?

This part is important, only take your student to an area that they can cope with! If you get in the car with someone for the first time and try to make them drive in an area with road and traffic conditions that are to simply hard it will have a detrimental effect on their confidence and delay progress.

I do not want to pass over any bad habits!

This is a usual thing to think, so I will list a few things to look out for and to focus on while you are teaching, you may also find it helps you out when you drive yourself.

When we teach people to drive, we build around two procedures the POM routine and the MSPSL routine, I will give you a breakdown of how and when they should be used.

The POM routine

Pom stands for.

Prepare, Observe, Manoeuvre

We use this routine when we pull away from the side of the road and its straightforward routine,

Prepare. In this part you want the student to get car ready to go but keep the car stationary. Make sure the student gets the car in the right gear, find the biting point, and make sure a little gas is set (push the gas pedal down by about the thickness of a pound coin) but keep the stationary. Then move on to the next step.

Observe, make sure the student has a good look around, check the left blind spot, left door mirror, interior mirror, right door mirror and the all-important right blind spot check, then move to the last step. As the supervising driver its always advisable to double check the student’s observations.

The blind spot checks.

Make sure the student looks behind them in a diagonal manner as is the picture above.

Manoeuvre, as soon as the student has completed the Right blind spot check and both of you are happy the road is clear, ask the student to release the handbrake and move off. You want the gap between the student checking the right blind spot and moving away to be as small as possible, basically as soon as they finish the observation stage, and both of you know it is clear then move off.

The MSPSL routine

This stands for,

Mirror, signal, position, speed, look

We use this routine for moving left, turning left, moving right, turning right, slowing down, or stopping.

Mirrors, always make sure the student checks the mirrors before they steer left, steer right, slow down, speed up or stop. Basically, always make sure the student checks the mirrors before they change course or speed. The student should always check the mirrors in a pair, starting with the interior mirror and then the wing mirror (left wing mirror if they are moving left, right wing mirror if they are moving right) or all 3 mirrors if they are slowing down of speeding up.

Signal, Is a signal necessary? Make sure the students signal is giving the right information to the right people at the right time. Do not allow the student to leave the signal on for ages and confusing the people behind you, neither should the students signal be late, so it surprises the following vehicle. The students signal should always be easy for other road users and pedestrians to be able to predict their course or speed change.

Position, make sure the student keeps the vehicle in the right place of the road to carry out their planned manoeuvre, If they are going left keep left, if they are going right move to the right hand side of their lane. The way the student positions the car on the road is as much a signal to other road users as an indicator light.

Speed, do not allow the student to approach junctions or hazards too fast. The most common cause of accidents when driving is bad use of speed. It is not possible for me to give you a uniformed speed as it is all depending on the situation, the best advice I can give is trust your gut, if you feel the students approach speed is too fast then slow the student down until you feel more comfortable. Inexperienced drivers cannot always judge speed as well as an experienced driver.

Look, make sure the student has carried out appropriate observations, ensuring it is safe to carry out the manoeuvre they are planning, as a supervising driver make sure you keep your eyes peeled for all outcomes, look left, look right, look behind and in front, just keep looking!

A brief breakdown

Mirrors, is it safe behind you?

Signal, tell everyone else what you are planning to do.

Position, get into the right part of the road to carry out your required manoeuvre.

Speed, make sure your speed is correct to carry out the manoeuvre safely.

Look, keep looking all around while you carry out the required manoeuvre.

These routines are the sequence the Driving vehicle standards agency look for when people take their driving test, you should aim to make these routines part of the student’s muscle memory this will help them with the driving test and help to keep them safe as an independent driver.

I hope this helps and please feel free to contact me on the below email if you have any questions or need any help with teaching and I will get back to you ASAP.

Keep driving, stay safe and I hope to see you next time.

Graeme Howard
Franchise manager
Union school of motoring


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