Tips for supervising learner drivers

IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, has offered advice to those giving learner drivers additional experience behind the wheel with private practice.

Firstly remember the aide must: be at least 21 years old, held a full driving licence for at least three years, and has ‘L’ plates displayed on the vehicle.

The supervisor is the responsible person and is deemed to be in control of the car, therefore the same road traffic laws apply.

It’s also the duty of the responsible person to ensure the vehicle is in a safe and roadworthy condition. A very valuable exercise is to show the learner how to carry out checks to ensure the vehicle is safe to use on the road.

Talk to the learner’s driving instructor regularly; working out a practice plan can save valuable time and money. Planning the route and what is going to covered is worthwhile as driving around aimlessly won’t be the best use of time or experience. Taking a learner somewhere too advanced could also do more harm than good.

Most importantly keep calm. Keeping calm really will pay off and save any heated arguments with the learner behind the wheel. Also, keep instructions precise and in good time – a learner needs to have time to process the information and then plan what to do.

Lastly, setting a good example and explaining what is being done when driving can be really helpful – it gives the learner an insight into what the supervisor is observing, anticipating and planning and gives them time to ask questions without being in the driving seat.