School Induction: How Your First Driving Lesson Will Work
The idea of learning how to drive, and driving itself, can be quite daunting. And while it is a big responsibility, one that should not be taken lightly, their truly is nothing to fear about the process. After all, learning to drive can be the facilitator to many of your future freedoms, and can be a lot of fun too.
So once you’ve come of age – so to speak – reaching that magic number of 17 years old, and have decided that now is the time to begin your driving lessons; you’ll probably be a little nervous – don’t worry its completely natural – and have some questions about just what your first lesson will entail.
In the below, we have endeavoured to give you a good idea of just what you can look forward to; hopefully answering your questions, and providing you with some information that can hopefully make your first ever driving lesson as stress free as possible.
So before you head on down to your local Ford dealership, let’s break down the things to expect.
Before the lesson
Learning to drive, and this really applies with any new skill, can be helped tremendously by possessing the right state of mind. This is why we wanted to talk just a little about the time before your very first lesson.
First and foremost, you’ll want to get a good night’s sleep of course. It will feel like a lot of information coming your way on the day of the lesson so you’ll want to have a fresh mind, allowing you to soak up as much as possible.
Before your lesson, you’ll want to make sure to dress in something comfy, that includes a suitable pair of shoes, so that when driving you are completely focused on the car and the road.
Some of you may have had a bit of practice before your first actual lesson with an instructor. This is always a good idea, so we absolutely recommend going out with mum or dad a few times just to familiarise yourself with the car and its various components.
If you haven’t, there is no need to worry, your instructor can of course teach you everything you need to know, and will have no problem with starting with a blank slate from which to instruct – in fact, many would prefer it, as no bad habits will have been picked up by the driver.
Meeting your instructor
So once you are suitably clothed, and have a good night’s sleep under your belt, you will be ready to meet your instructor for your first lesson.
We spoke to Red Driving School who said the following about what to expect upon meeting your driving instructor, and your first lesson.
“You’re bound to be nervous before your first driving lesson, but don’t worry, your instructor will be there to put you at ease. When you get in the car, they’ll ask you a few questions about yourself and your driving history, and tell you a bit about themselves too. You’ll be seeing each other pretty often, so it’s important to get to know each other! The first lesson is all about getting to grips with the car, including how to use the mirrors and what part does what. Usually, at the end of the lesson you’ll get your first go at taking the wheel and driving by yourself.”
Depending on what you have arranged, your instructor may pick up you up at home or at a location of your choosing such as college or work. Don’t worry, they won’t throw you in the driver’s seat right away. And, as Red Driving School mentioned, once you’ve been collected, you’ll be able to have a short meet and greet, giving you the chance to get to know each other a little. Then you’ll be driven to a quieter, often residential location for your lesson to begin. So no need to panic, no main roads on your first day.
This will generally be the course of action for future lessons until you become proficient enough to drive from home or from your pick up location.
For more information from Red Driving School, make sure to take a look at their lesson guides for learners.
Once you’ve arrived at the place where your lesson will begin, the instructor will swap seats with you, getting you behind the wheel for the first time.
This is where your instructor will run through the controls of the car, making sure you are happy with how everything works.
They will talk you through the clutch, accelerator and the brake. How to use things like the handbrake, indicators, and changing gears.
Don’t ever feel like you can’t ask questions during this entire process, or be afraid to ask your instructor to repeat certain bits of information. The more questions you ask, the better off you’ll be. This is your lesson, so make sure you are digesting what is being taught.
The key is not to worry, you are in safe hands, and the instructor will remind you of everything as you progress.
The cockpit drill
Next up, the instructor will go through all the little checks one must complete before you begin driving. Of course, safety is paramount, and making sure that all is in order, and that you are good to go, is crucial for every driver, old and new.
The drill will comprise of the following questions and checks:
- Are the doors closed securely?
- Is your seat in a comfortable position? – Giving you chance to move closer or further way if need be.
- Is the steering positon established? – You can also raise and lower the wheel to meet your requirements.
- Is your seatbelt on?
- Are your mirrors adjusted?
These are vital questions, all with the intent of providing safety to you and others, while also making sure that you are comfortable before beginning your drive.
Now we get to the action itself. Once all the above has been discussed, it will be time to drive. Before you start the engine however, you will be talked through taking off, and getting ready to use the gears, clutch control, checking your mirrors, when to indicate, moving up and down the gears, stopping the car etc.
Then in the nice and quiet area that you’ll find yourself in, you’ll begin to drive. It might feel quick at first, even though you won’t be moving fast. The instructor will likely have a pair of pedals himself in the passenger’s seat – giving you peace of mind that you will be safe no matter what.
And then, guess what? You’ll be driving! If you don’t get it at first, don’t worry, everyone operates at a different pace. You will be taken through all the basics, essentially just the travelling from A to B, stopping and starting etc. Also, do not worry if you stall the car! This is perfectly normal -- part and parcel for learner drivers.
If you’re picking things up quickly, you might get asked if you are happy to move onto the open road. However, if you don’t feel comfortable quite yet, that’s no problem. Take things at your pace.
After the lesson
Once your first lesson is done, you should be feeling pretty happy with yourself no matter how quickly you’ve grasped the basics – this is the first step after all, and one that must be taken.
This is when the instructor will drive you home, having a chat with you about how you feel and found your first lesson. This will be a great chance to ask any lingering questions you might have, or to speak about something you feel you need to work on next time.
Some instructors offer discount prices if you book a number of lessons in advance, so you might want to consider that to save a little money, and if you know a regular time slot that you want to have your lessons. It’s important to have these regularly, preferably a couple of times a week so to stay familiar with all that you’ve learnt.
No matter how well you feel it’s going at this point, just remember that you’ll be perfectly fine and will soon be mastering the road.
And that’s it! You’ll say goodbye to your instructor with your next lesson all booked. Relax and be pleased with yourself.
As mentioned before, this can be a daunting process, but there really is nothing to fear. Be excited but be prepared. Hopefully this breakdown of proceedings will have put you at ease a little and you can now enjoy the act of learning to drive.
Image Credit: The NRMA