Learning to Drive? 6 Things To Consider When Choosing A Driving Instructor
Becoming a licensed driver can be a liberating experience. No longer having to rely on public transportation or people to drive you to places can make the city a whole lot more accessible.
That said, the road to getting a license is not easy. The driving test passing rate in NSW is a little under 60%–meaning over 4 out of 10 learning drivers fail their test. In other parts of Australia like Victoria, the stats show similar results.
If you want to increase your chance of securing a driver’s license, you’ll need to have a comprehensive understanding of local driving laws, road signs, and safety regulations. That’s where a driving instructor comes in.
The right driving instructor can spell the difference between helping you drive better or restricting you from your fullest potential.
Remember, knowing how to navigate the road with a vehicle is a prerequisite to getting a license. And it’s the job of the driving instructor to teach you the necessary skills to drive.
Whether it’s your first time or second time down the ringer, here are six things to keep in mind when choosing your next driving instructor.
1. They Own A Working With Children Check
Bringing your teen minor to the driving school? Before securing any deals, ensure that the driving instructor has all the necessary accreditation to interact with and teach your children.
In Australia, this accreditation comes in the form of a Working With Children Check (WWCC).
This check verifies that the instructor has a clean criminal record and has no grave history of workplace misconduct. The WWCC check lasts for 5 years, so ensure that the driving instructor has one that’s not expired.
Furthermore, the WWCC check of accredited professionals is constantly under scrutiny, so for extra measure, you may check the status of the eligible driving instructor on the local Services website. If their status is “cleared”, then you can have peace of mind knowing your teenage child is in capable hands.
2. They Have an Unexpired Driving Instructor Accreditation
Of course, a driving instructor should at the very least possess a driving instructor license to prove that they can conduct driving lessons.
This form of accreditation guarantees that the instructor has accomplished all the prerequisites to provide lesson plans to student drivers. It also proves that they have passed all the eligibility requirements necessary to be a licensed teaching professional.
Some of the requirements needed before anyone can get this certification include
- Completing Certificate IV in Driving Instruction
- A clean criminal record
- A Working with vulnerable people (WWVP) registration
- Agency-approved vehicle
- Be medically fit and have sufficient ability to drive
- At least 21 years old
Once all these are accomplished, the prospecting driving instructor can get a driving teacher license for up to 5 years.
3. They Have a List of Positive Past Driver Reviews
Even if someone is accredited, there’s no telling whether they’re teaching style is effective for their students. That’s why it’s always best to look at past reviews from student drivers to determine whether the instructor is good at their job or not.
If you get driving lessons with an instructor from EzLicence or other reputable driving schools, you can encounter two main types of reviews: testimonials and star reviews. Star reviews are a quick, visual rating system that allows you to glean the feel of multiple instructors at a time and understand the quality of their capabilities at a glance.
Testimonials are a bit more personalised, giving detailed reviews on the performance of the teacher and the result of the student driver. Testimonials essentially help narrow down the list of potential candidates and find the teacher that best suits you.
4. You’ll Learn From Their Past Teaching Experience
Let’s get one thing clear: all driving instructors are capable of teaching and imparting knowledge to their students.
That said, while everyone is on par at the technical level, senior instructors with years of experience under their belt have significantly more wisdom to share with their students. They have also likely experienced first-hand the many mistakes past students have made during their driving lessons.
This valuable experience allows them to refine their teaching method and teach the next batch of students ways in dealing with common driving mistakes.
Furthermore, past teaching experience can also grant the teacher the ability to faster perceive the learning style of a particular student and make adjustments to their teaching style accordingly.
If you get to choose between a rookie instructor and a seasoned one, you’d definitely want to pick the seasoned one in most cases.
5. You’ll Benefit From the Instructor’s Soft Skills Too
No one wants to be criticised harshly while driving, but at the same time, you wouldn’t want an instructor who is too laid-back or indifferent.
This is why it’s critical to evaluate a driver’s soft skills. If the driving school offers a complimentary lesson, use it to assess the instructor’s teaching skills and determine if their style suits you.
As for points to consider, find a driving instructor that’s patient and informative. They should provide constructive feedback about your driving style without making you feel anxious or undermining your confidence.
An ideal instructor will strike a balance between correcting mistakes and reinforcing good driving habits. If you make mistakes, they won’t get mad or judge you for your mistakes, but calmly explain what you can do to reduce overall risk when on the road.
6. The Choice of Vehicle
Another crucial aspect to consider when picking a driving instructor is knowing what vehicle they plan to teach in.
A lot of driving schools use dual-control vehicles that have pedals and brakes on both sides of the front seat. This modern car type is specially designed for driving schools to help maintain a degree of safety on the road.
From the student driver’s point of view, most prototypes of this car operate exactly as a traditional ICE-powered vehicle or vehicle powered by a traditional internal combustion engine that you could buy online would—that is, running with a pedal and stopping with a brake. Manual versions would have both a clutch and a brake.
The difference between this car and other types is that the driving instructor can also take control of the brake, accelerator or clutch as necessary to avoid being in dangerous situations.
If your driving school is outfitted with this car type, then they value safety a lot and you’re in good hands learning from them.
Tips For Your First Driving Lesson
So, what is a first driving lesson like?
While the answer differs depending on the driver, you can expect excitement, nerves and much anticipation.
Take a deep breath, sit comfortably and make sure you’re paying attention to your driving instructor.
So if you’re wondering how to prepare for a driving lesson, these six tips are an excellent place to start.
Good luck with your first driving lesson!
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