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Consider refresher driving lessons before teaching others

Before you climb into the car next to your eager driver, why not take some driving tuition yourself?

When I was learning to drive, more years ago than I care to remember, one of my pals mentioned to me that he would never pass his test again, due to the way he drove now.

While he had been driving safely and without incident for a quarter of a century, he was convinced that during that time he’d developed too many bad habits which could cause him to fail.

The example he mentioned was crossing one hand over the other when turning the steering wheel – something that I’ve always doggegly avoided, because of him.

This came back to me recently when one of my own offspring started to learn to drive. It raised the question: how many bad habits had I picked up in 25 years of driving?

I’d already checked that I met the legal minimum requirements for offering driving tuition – namely that I was over 21 (by just a few years…), held a valid driving licence for the type of car my kid was driving and that I’d had the said licence for at least three years.

But, there’s a lot more to teaching someone to drive successfully than these three things. For one thing, you must have extreme patience, real guts (for the first few outings at least) and the diplomacy of a United Nations Ambassador.

And if that’s not enough, you need to recall the “correct procedure” (as per The Highway Code) for every manoeuvre that you could be required to execute on the roads of Britain. Now, I can perform a three-point-turn on a 5 pence piece, but not necessarily by the book, I suspect.

So I concluded that it would be sensible for anyone charged with the responsibility of mentoring a learner driver to have some refresher driving tuition beforehand – to remind them of any bad habits they’ve picked up since passing their own test.

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