Before.....Most people know where they could improve their driving - yet they put no effort to change their ways. It's a fact: The majority of students drive most of the time just like their parents. It's a fact: Most students drive very similar to how their parents drive. At UltraSafe we try our best to address all potentially bad habits - but a measly 6 hours will not be enough to counter thousands of hours of observing bad habits from other drivers. This could feel offensive by it is important to be honest here. Many students have told us "my mom (or dad) says don't drive like me". This is very bad and you could be inadvertently contributing to your child's lawsuit, serious injury, or death. Please lead by example. Use the time prior, during, and after driver training to discover and reverse any bad habits.
Is it legal to practice driving before the scheduling drives? Not on public roads. It is legal to practice on private property. But in all driving insurance is required in case of damage or injury. UltraSafe does not recommend practicing before the scheduled drives. But if you do - you must make sure you are in an incredibly large and empty parking lot. Start by going over all the gauges, buttons, and levers in the car. The more they know about the vehicle the more confidence they will have on the first drive. Then talk about the brakes, gas pedal, and gears. In a parking lot start with simple acceleration and deceleration. Basically the student drives slowly straight and then tries to stop smoothly. Then do it again gradually increasing speed. For many students their confidence is shattered when they have trouble with simple smooth acceleration and deceleration. The next step is turning (don't worry about turn signals). The two areas where students struggle is slowing to an appropriate speed to make the turn, and accelerating out of the turn. Students should slow down quite a bit, continue covering the brake in the turn, and then slowly accelerating out the turn when the vehicle is nearly straight. It will be shakey but will gradually smooth out over time. Don't be afraid to constantly ask "are you covering the brake?". Again, we do not recommend practicing driving before the scheduled drives.
It is very recommended to do the observation activities described in the "Observation Tips" article. The observation activities will help build confidence during their first drive.
During......Please listen to your student when they tell you of something they recently learned. If they tell you you're doing something wrong just say "okay, I'll work on that". It's never too late to start working on correcting bad habits. A good strategy is to work on one bad habit at a time. Perhaps begin with increasing your following distance. Then work on your speed (leaving earlier makes this easy).
Sometimes they may try to explain a concept but it doesn't make sense. It this happens tell them to ask the instructor to repeat the concept on the next drive.
Continue the observation activities.
After.....Continue improving on your bad habits. Also continue pushing your student to scan for potential problems and talk about what options there are if a problem actually happens. Also think about how to reduce the chance of a problem in the first place ("How can we help people see us better?"). Many defensive driving techniques taught during the drives are unknown to even the most experienced driver. Please let your student teach you, so you can both work together, keeping each other accountable in order
to drive safer.