Bergens Auto Body is a family owned SGI Elite auto body shop and a Trusted Regina collision repair expert. From the moment you walk in the door, you will be treated like family! We are proud to have over 80 Years Auto Body Experience, and have been serving Regina Autobody needs for over 30 Years. In our latest blog, we share tips for supervising new drivers.
A Guide to Supervising New Drivers- The Co-Pilot’s Manual
- As a supervising driver can help your new driver. It includes step-by-step procedures for practicing basic driving maneuvers and suggestions that will help make the learning process a positive experience for both you and the new driver. Helping the new driver will involve time, effort and patience on your part, but it will be well rewarded; you will worry less, knowing that you have helped your new driver develop lifelong skills
The co-pilot’s responsibility
Be a good role model:
People tend to imitate the behavior of others, so set a good example whenever you drive:
- Obey all traffic laws.
- Be courteous.
- Drive safely.
It’s very important to the new driver’s safety that you:
- Don’t drive after consuming drugs or alcohol. New drivers are more likely to drive impaired if they have seen their peers and role models do so.
- Use seatbelts Just as your new driver will mimic your bad habits, they will usually adopt your good habits, such as wearing seatbelts. No matter how short the trip may be, require your new driver to wear a seatbelt. Always make sure your car has seatbelts that work. Teach your new driver to fasten the belt before starting the engine. If you wear a seatbelt every time you get into the car, the new driver may do the same.
- Use headlights Many collisions happen simply because drivers fail to see approaching vehicles. When your headlights are on all the time, your chances of being hit head-on or from the side are reduced by up to 25%. In Canada, safety standards require all vehicles manufactured after December 1989 to be equipped with daytime running lights that automatically turn on. If your vehicle was manufactured out-of-country it may not have this feature and those lights must be turned on manually.
Some tips before you begin to practice
- Take time to discuss what you and your new driver will be trying to do. Decide what each of you expects from the other. Set rules about when, where and how long to practise and what to do when things get difficult.
- It’s best to practise with only the two of you in the car. Friends and family members may be an unnecessary distraction. Also, turn the radio and cell phones off so the driver and supervising driver can concentrate fully on the road.
- At first, practise only during the day. Choose a vacant parking lot or a quiet area that offers a variety of traffic and road situations. Then, gradually increase the difficulty of the situation.
- Recognize that part of the learning process is making mistakes. New drivers do not do things perfectly in the beginning. As part of normal learning, your new driver will progress from saying things out loud, to thinking things through, to behaving as automatically as you do. At each stage, errors are likely.
- Gradually have the new driver drive in more adverse weather conditions as their driving skills improve. It is important to introduce them to all types of driving conditions as a learner.
- Before starting the engine, have your new driver: • become familiar with the vehicle (where things are, how to turn on windshield wipers, emergency flashers, etc.) • adjust the seat if necessary • make sure mirrors are adjusted • fasten the seatbelt
- Sit in a position where you can, if required: grab the steering wheel, gradually pull the emergency brake, shift the vehicle into neutral, or step on the brake. You are still required to wear your seatbelt.
- Let the new driver drive the way that they have been taught by the driver educator. If you change the system, the new driver will get confused.
- Learn to give instruction well in advance. A new driver needs more time than an experienced driver to prepare for speed or direction changes. Give your directions clearly, briefly and early.
- Be alert, but not tense. The new driver will feel your tension, so remain attentive, but relax. While the new driver may be confident, this confidence is fragile and can easily be shattered by harsh criticism. Temper your remarks and keep your voice calm.
- Give your new driver support. Praise works far better than criticism. Incentives and rewards work better than penalties and punishments. Complete every practice session on a positive note.
- If either of you becomes stressed or over-excited, stop the practice session. Learning will not occur under high stress and it’s dangerous to continue under these circumstances.
- If you see a bad traffic situation ahead (one your student can’t handle), pull over and stop.
- Before turning off the ignition during an emergency, consider that this will lock the steering wheel on many vehicles and affect power steering and power brakes. If possible, until your new driver has learned the traffic rules and how to control the car, practise in a vehicle with an automatic transmission. It’ll be easier to drive.
- Be prepared, then relax. Have fun!