Wednesday, 15 November 2017

What level of training do you really need to drive a car?

Driving - it’s easy, right? You just push the button, take off the brake and go. Yeah, that makes sense - when you’ve been driving for years! Of course, in reality, there are about a dozen extra steps you’ve missed out with that simple description of how to handle a vehicle. When you’ve driven a car a few times, things start to become natural, easy, and even automatic. So how much training do you really need to drive a car?

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The law doesn’t say you have to have any hours of instruction before taking your test. If you want a degree, you’re supposed to put in something like 3600 hours of study. Let’s face it, nobody actually works that hard. And no, you don’t need to prove that you’ve done it to enter your final exams. So does that mean you can figure it out on your own and go straight for the test?

Put the brakes on, mate! Before you start that engine, can you please remember that you’re responsible for the lives of every other road user out there? You might think you’ve figured out how to put your vehicle in gear, but there are a few rules of the road most of us want to be sure you know about! Go get some lessons from someone that knows a thing or two about those first.

Pro or mate?

You don’t have to have professional lessons to pass your test. You can have your Mum sit next to you for a few hours instead if you like? But if you do engage a professional driving instructor, they’re less likely to scream in horror as you realise you don’t remember which pedal is the brake. A qualified driving instructor is likely to use his car with dual controls so you can make mistakes but not face an accident.

Formal driving instructors can also coach you on all the other parts of the driving test, like the theory. And they won’t be afraid to take you out onto more challenging roads. They’ll make you face the traffic conditions you will face when you have the driving licence in your hand. And if you need to drive for a living, you’re going to face the worst of it. There’s no shirking off. There are no quick trips around the car park and back. It’s full-on experience to help you prepare for real-life driving.

How many hours of training?

Of course, you pay for as many hours of training as you can afford over any timescale you like. Generally, it takes at least twenty hours of experience to stand a chance of passing the test and feeling confident enough to tackle traffic on your own. You need to add some time for theory training with that. Then, of course, you need to take some lessons in maintaining the car and understanding your obligations if you’re involved in an accident.

Driving a car is easy - when you’ve been doing it a while. Be careful though. They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. They might be right. Get some lessons, get some supervised experience, and grow your confidence the right way.


** This is a collaborative post

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