Whilst we’ve been trying to focus on the positives that have come out of lockdown, that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate that there have been some disheartening moments too. Leavers didn’t get to say a final goodbye to their classmates, students didn’t get to sit final exams and learner drivers’ lessons ground to a halt – no matter how far away they were from their driving test.
In relation to learner drivers, professional driving lessons are still out of the question whilst we wait for further easing of lockdown measures. But there’s been quite a lot of talk around whether or not parents/family members/friends should be teaching their children to drive during this time – especially with driving in lockdown having been limited to essential journeys in general.
When it comes to the question, ‘Can learner drivers drive during lockdown?’ Ian McIntosh, CEO of one of the biggest UK driving schools, has some thoughts. He’s said that new drivers can pick up bad habits when being taught by someone other than an approved instructor. Not to mention, supervising a learner driver without dual controls is very dangerous.
So, what can you do when you can’t take to the road to continue learning to drive in lockdown?
1. Brush up on your theory test
You may be doing this already, but now is the perfect time to get ready for your theory test. Whether you’re studying/working from home or have been put on furlough, you probably have a fair bit of free time. Rather than fit theory practice in around your school/work commitments once the coronavirus lockdown is over, why not utilise this time to learn as much as you can?
Get your theory books out, Google things like ‘learner driver rules UK’, take a mock test, test yourself on traffic signs – you’ll be thankful when the time comes to go back to your busy life.
If you’ve already passed your theory test, you’re half way to graduating from provisional license to full driving license, well done! The knowledge you learnt will still apply throughout your whole driving (and even pedestrian!) life, so you could still use this time to make sure you’re as informed as you can be.
2. Work on your hazard perception
The hazard perception part of your driving test is known for being a little, shall we say, tricky? Your opinion of a hazard can be totally different to someone else’s, and this difference in opinion can make for a pass or fail. Take this time to do some research around hazard road rules for learners to help you do well on the test. It’ll help you become a safer driver too.
3. Get your family and friends involved
A popular trend during lockdown has been video call quizzes. We’ve seen fancy dress quizzes, Gavin & Stacey themed quizzes and even birthday party quizzes. When it’s your turn to play quiz master, why not make a driving quiz? If you have friends learning to drive too, this can be a great way to help everyone brush up on their knowledge. And for the drivers who’ve already passed their test, it can make for a great evening of rivalry!
4. Get to know your car
Whether you have your own vehicle, or you can nip outside to your parents’, lockdown can be a great time to familiarise yourself with cars in general. This will also come in handy during the ‘show me tell me’ part of your driving test. Research common questions asked and try to answer them yourself.
It can also be a good time to brush up on car maintenance. When you’re learning to drive and when you’ve passed your test, you’ll need to be familiar with how to look after your car. Take some time to learn about parts of your car such as fluids, tyres and so on.
5. Discover some new YouTubers
You probably didn’t expect to see this suggestion within this article, did you? YouTube is the most-watched platform for young people. With 13-24 year olds watching 73 minutes of it a day!
Why not see if you can find any channels that help learner drivers advance their driving knowledge? Nowadays, YouTubers have all sorts of specialities – so we expect you’ll be spoilt for choice.
6. Try not to worry about your test
We know this is easier said than done and the anxiety of not knowing the answer to the question ‘When can I learn to drive?’ can be a lot. But we aren’t sure when we’ll be finding out when driving lessons/tests can re-commence, or if there’ll be new social distancing guidelines in place.
One of the best things you can do right now is make use of the time you have and channel your energy into learning as much as you can. If you’re struggling with worry/stress/your mental health in general, don’t forget that you can reach out to organisations like Mind for support and guidance.
Although it’s been frustrating to have to postpone driving lessons, tests and other important events, it’s very much been for everyone’s safety as it’s been so vital to stay at home. We hope you can take these tips and work towards building your driving knowledge and becoming a safer qualified driver.
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