Bad habits start


Young driver under instruction
Young driver under instruction, 2021
Young driver under instruction, 2021, car

THE pandemic left many 17-year-olds relying on their parents for driving tuition but when surveyed by Young Driver 89 per cent of driving instructors said this has meant collecting bad habits along the way.

Despite this, 98 per cent of the 150 instructors questioned still felt extra experience behind the wheel with a parent is important, although 67 per cent did say that parents should only teach alongside professional tuition.

Young Driver, which is the UK's largest pre-17 driving school, asked the instructors to name the worst habits their pupils had picked up.

The list included not following the 'mirror, signal, manoeuvre routine', steering with one hand and speeding as well as riding the clutch.

Others mentioned by instructors included eating and drinking in the car, being too heavy on the accelerator, not checking blind spots, getting too close to the vehicle in front and having no regard or understanding of the highway code.

Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: "For many parents it may be decades since they passed their test, so trying to remember how to teach someone else to drive can be very difficult.

"Not only that, but advice has changed over the years, so some of what they do remember may no longer be advised. However, Covid has meant there's been a severe shortage of driving instructors and so many parents have had to fill the gap. Learners are now reportedly waiting up to six months to take their driving test because of the backlogs, so doing all they can to be fully prepared is vital."

Young Driver has launched a new package which includes aids for both learners and their parents in the learning to drive journey.

The scheme has partnered with motoring expert Quentin Willson to publish a book ‘Learn to drive without tears and tantrums'.

Willson has also helped create the Young Driver App, which includes unique virtual reality videos to help learners practice manoeuvres even when they can't be behind the wheel - and perhaps offer parents some tips too.

Young Driver teaches youngsters from the age of 10 how to safely handle a car, providing lessons in one of 200 Vauxhall Corsas with fully qualified instructors on specially created private road systems.


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