Kicking things off with the most important point of all – driving lessons aren’t nearly as terrifying as you think they’re going to be. Your instructor is not going to be painfully strict and judgemental, nor is driving a modern car anywhere near as tricky as you might expect.
Still, it’s natural to be nervous about the whole thing when starting for the first time. You’ve booked your first block of student driving lessons, you’re due to hit the roads in a couple of days, and you’ve zero prior experience.
You’ll have a whole bunch of weird and wonderful things going through your mind, but what exactly can you expect from your first driving lesson?
Before Your First Driving Lesson
Getting the most out of your first (and every subsequent) driving lesson starts way before the lesson begins. For one thing, you’ll want to ensure you get a good night’s sleep – nerves or otherwise. Also, you’ll need to dress in appropriate attire with a comfortable and practical pair of shoes.
For obvious reasons, avoiding anything particularly exhausting (or intoxicating) the night before should be considered mandatory. Reading up on a few basic rules of the road isn’t a bad idea, but don’t make the mistake of attempting to fill your head with too much information.
Even if you start as a completely blank canvas, that’s just fine – your instructor will introduce you to everything you need to know on your first driving lesson.
Meeting Your Instructor
Then comes the time for the formal introduction, which will take place at the driving school itself or your chosen pick up location. Before taking to the wheel, your instructor will introduce him or herself, take the time to get to know you and address any questions or concerns you may have.
At which point, you’ll usually get into the passenger’s seat and be driven to a quiet and secluded location, away from busy public roads. This is where the practical part of the lesson begins. Getting to Grips with the Controls
After switching to the driver’s seat, your instructor will provide you with a brief overview of the car’s controls.
Nothing superfluous or irrelevant – i.e., the stereo, etc. – but all the stuff you need to know to set the wheels in motion safely. You’ll be familiarised with the pedals, the handbrake, the indicators, the lights, the windscreen wipers, and so on.
You’ll also be taken through what’s known as the ‘cockpit drill’ – the basic safety checks that need to be performed before setting off. Such as, making sure the doors are closed, adjusting your seat and mirrors, checking for warning lights on the dashboard, and so on.
Taking To the Roads
Before taking to the roads, you’ll be given ample time to get used to the basics of driving in a secluded location, with few or no other cars around at the time. Under no circumstances will you be expected to drive on busier public roads until you are confident enough to do so.
At which point, it’s worth remembering that your instructor will also have a set of controls, making it practically impossible to get into any real trouble. Not that you should throw caution to the wind, but still – there’s no need to panic at any point!
Then comes the time to discuss the lesson with your instructor, chat about your next lesson (or lessons, if you prefer an intensive driving course), and generally clear up any residual questions or concerns you may have. By which point, you’ll probably be wondering why you were so worried in the first place!