You’re First Diving Lesson
Whether you have driven before, or are complete novice, you are expected to feel slightly nervous on your first driving lesson. This is normal and your instructor will always factor for this as they begin your learner journey. Nerves are not necessarily a bad thing, kept within a manageable level; they can often create a higher level of focus and alertness which can help you whilst undertaking new and unfamiliar situations. It has also been found that many learner drivers who approach their lessons with an over confident attitude, will be surprised by the level of ability and competency that need to be attained to meet the driving standards expected by the DVLA.
To ensure your nerves are manageable and to prepare you for your first lesson, below is a breakdown of a typical lesson plan:
The vehicle and instructor
- All vehicles used by professional driving schools will have dual control cars. Dual controls are beneficial for two reasons. They not only allow you the pupil to feel comfortable knowing that the Instructor can help you at any time, but they also give the Instructor the ability to step in and take control of the vehicle should an unexpected situation arise.
- Your instructor anticipates that all new pupils will be anxious as they begin their lessons, and they are skilled in training you in how to manage your nerves. They will get to know you and determine your individual areas of strength and weakness, enabling them to adapt their style for your lessons. The aim of this adapted instruction is so that you can achieve the best results possible during each lesson, progress your skills and move forward at your own pace. Your instructor will advance you to the next stage once they, and you, are confident you are ready.
Getting behind the wheel
When you get into the driver’s seat for the first time, the instructor will cover the main instruments on the dashboard, the equipment you will frequently use and how to set yourself up to be in the correct position to drive. This is known as the “cockpit drill” and will cover the setting up of the seat, use of the mirrors, the gears, the pedals (accelerator, clutch and brake), the indicators, the handbrake and blind spots. This is designed to help familiarise you with the layout of the car so you are comfortable and confident as you begin.
Moving off and stopping
Most pupils will drive on the first lesson, but how long for depends upon on how quickly you understand and feel comfortable with the controls. The instructor will only progress you to this stage once you are both confident that you are ready. Every pupil is individual and so is the time it takes for this progression. Firstly you will learn the checks you need to make before starting a journey. You will then be shown how to safely turn on the vehicle, move off into a safe road position, and finally how to stop the vehicle.