Managing safety

Are you fit to teach?

Most of your time on driving lessons will be spent in the passenger seat. It may be tempting to think that, as you are not driving, you do not need to be fit to drive. But if anything, you need to be even more aware of your surroundings, and able to react quickly if a hazard arises.

Is the learner fit to drive?

Make sure that your learner is fit to drive. Even minor ailments, such as a cold, can affect people’s ability to concentrate. Emotions can also have an effect. If you’re unsure, explore the subject with your learner. Such a discussion can be a learning process in itself, preparing them for when they have to make these decisions by themselves.

Your learner will naturally be nervous about driving, and especially about their tests. There is specific advice about this in The Official DVSA Guide to Better Driving and on GOV.UK

Managing safety on the road

Before you get out on the road the responsibility for keeping the learner, other road users and yourself safe should be agreed. As the driving instructor, much of the responsibility rests with you. But the learner needs to know when and how you might intervene, so that they do not panic.

Once you’re moving, make sure that your instructions are clear, so that the learner does not get confused. Look well ahead so that you can anticipate hazards and be ready to deal with them (either verbally or physically) if the learner does not spot them.

Choose a route that is at the right level for the learner. If it’s too simple they will not learn anything new; if it’s too complicated then they will be overwhelmed.

If you do have to step in to deal with a hazard, make sure that the learner understands what happened. You can turn this into a learning experience – but do it as soon as possible.

Other safety risks

Be aware of any other safety issues that could arise when you’re on the road, such as road rage from other drivers or even aggression from your learner if things are not going their way. Think about how to reduce the risks of this happening.

If you’re delivering any training in a classroom you need to make sure you follow health and safety requirements.

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