FIRST DRIVING LESSON
The first driving lessons often make learners nervous as they don’t know what to expect. On most occasions however, it’s worth knowing that the first driving lesson goes very well and the learner is very happy at the end.
Here we will discuss what happens on your first driving lesson and also what you will do on your first driving lesson so you will know what to expect. Also covered is what your driving instructor will be expecting from you during and at the end of your first driving lesson.We shall assume for the moment that you have already found your ideal driving instructor and are shortly going to start your first driving lesson. When ideal driving instructor and are shortly going to start your first driving lesson. When you originally booked driving lessons with your driving school or instructor, they should have arranged a pick up location with you. This is often your house, or could be a different location such as college or work. Some driving school or instructors ask you to bring along your provisional driving licence just for your first driving lesson as they want to ensure you are legal to drive. How your first driving lesson starts largely depends on the area that you are picked up from and how long the lesson lasts. If you are being picked up in a busy area, the instructor will meet and greet you and will check your provisional driving licence. The instructor will then ask you to sit in the passenger seat as they will take you somewhere quieter for your first driving lesson.
The area you will be taken to is often a quiet residential street. The instructor will often drive you to this starting location until you are proficient enough to start lessons from your busy pick up location. On the way to your starting area, the instructor is likely to give you a lesson plan, describing what you will do on your first driving lesson.
THE COCKPIT DRILL
The first driving lesson will involve the cockpit drill. The cockpit drill will involve an explanation of the cars controls and instruments such as the indicator. Now that you have arrived at your quiet residential street for your first driving lesson, your instructor will ask you to sit in the driver’s seat where they will explain to you the cockpit drill. The cockpit drill involves the instructor explaining and demonstrating car safety procedures and what the various pedals and levers do, plus how to operate them. They may also use a book containing diagrams for such things as the clutch to help you understand easier. The cockpit drill should take around 30 minutes or so to complete. You may get asked a few basic questions during the cockpit drill, but nothing to worry about.
You will basically be expected to operate the controls whilst the car is turned off and to listen to the instructor. Make sure you ask the instructor to repeat anything you do not understand (they won’t mind) as this will help when it comes to actually driving the car. On your first driving lesson, the cockpit drill will include:
- Cockpit drill
- Car mirror adjustments – How to handle and adjust the car mirrors
- Blind spot – Areas that you cannot see in your mirrors
- Steering the car – Correct steering techniques
- How to change gears – Explanation on where the gears are and technique for changing them
- When to use the handbrake
MOVING THE CAR OFF AND STOPPING
Whether you drive the car or not on your first driving lesson depends on how long the lesson duration is. Ideally, your first lesson should be 2 hours to ensure you get to a quiet location, allow the instructor to drive you back home and have time in between to learn the cockpit drill and briefly drive the car.
Before you drive the car, the instructor will explain to you the procedure of moving the car off and stopping. Again this may be used in conjunction with diagrams. Explained will be how to move the car off using the various equipment in the car and also how to do it safely by use of mirrors and blind spot, followed by how to park the car up on the left alongside the pavement using the cars equipment and again, how to do so safely. After explaining this, you will then be given the chance to drive the car for the first time. Your driving instructor will explain everything again – real-time as you are driving the car. During the moving off and stopping procedure, the instructor will explain to you:
- Moving off – Getting gears ready, the basics
- Clutch control – Which includes how to find the
- Clutch biting point
- When to signal when moving off and when driving
- When to change gear – At what speeds and revs a gear should be changed, although this may only be covered on a very basic level
- Stopping the car – including techniques for covering the brake and the clutch
- Kerb side parking – Perhaps including reference points to aid in avoiding hitting the Kerb
This is often a nervous time for learner drivers, but you will only be travelling a short distance down the road before you stop, plus It is usually in a straight or reasonably straight line. Also, don’t forget that the instructor has dual controls so if anything goes wrong, the instructor can take full control. You are likely to have a few goes at this before the end of the lesson where your instructor will drive you back. Don’t worry if you stall the car, this is common, especially on the first driving lessons. Take a read of How to stop stalling a car to gain a basic understanding of what the instructor will be explaining.
Driving Lesson Nervousness
Again, something your instructor is used to and deals with often. Your instructor should try and make you feel as relaxed as is possible. Try not to take the first few driving lessons too seriously. Have fun and have a laugh with your instructor. Learning to drive should also be fun as well as learning a life skill.
Take each and every movement in stages so that it’s easier to understand. If you try to take everything in at once, it may become overwhelming. If you do feel overly stressed, don’t be afraid to ask your instructor to slow it down a little.