We are hosting our under seventeens driving experience day on the 10th June 2017 in Ringwood. As an instructor myself I really enjoy teaching on these days. It means i can interact with an age group that I do not normally teach to drive. This is great fun, especially because the people coming to this event are more excited than scared (sometimes those first lessons on the road can be a little nerve racking). The fear of the main roads are taken away as the site we use, although similar to real road situation, is much quieter with only other learners.
All of the instructors who work on the under seventeens driving day are great fun and whilst being fantastic instructors they also know how to have a laugh. This is why i enjoy these driving days so much, its very different to my normal working day; I meet so many new people and get to have a laugh with some of my colleagues.
Some may wonder whats involved in the lesson; we want the pupils to have as much real experience as possible and whilst our cars all have dual controls we allow the pupil to feel the clutch and use the brake without assistant – Not many have problems with finding the accelerator. Since the site is completely private we can let the pupils drive the car straight away without having to worry about other road users which means we can talk on the move more freely and allow the pupils to get a full experience of driving. There is approximately 7 or 8 other instructors teaching so we will discuss mirrors and signaling to make the pupils aware of other road users. There are other areas where pupils will also be challenged with three point turns, reversing into parking bays, reverse parking, zig zag (forward and reverse) and a roundabout.
We hope that the driving experience will greatly benefit those who then go on to have driving lessons once they are 17. As an instructor myself
I can see the benefit of these experience lessons when I take pupils onto the road for the first time, they tend to have more spacial awareness and a clearer understanding of clutch control therefore reducing the amount of time spent on the quiet training roads.