Teaching someone how to drive can’t be that difficult can it?
I’m proud to say I have just qualified as an observer with my RoSPA Advanced Drivers group, which you can train to do after passing the Advanced Driving test and allows you to tutor others wishing to take their test. I found the observer test nerve-wracking, as not only are you passing on your skills to a third party as they drive but you are being observed in what you say, and do, by the examiner in the process. After the drive both parties provide an assessment of my experience and the ability of passing it on.
Now I love driving and I want to be the best I can at it. I want to position the car correctly on the road, at the right speed for the conditions, make progress and observe hazards and deal with them. But for me, actually passing that experience on to another driver was like teaching my children to tie their shoelaces. Once mastered, you just tie them automatically. But the act of explaining how you do it – that’s different.
It’s much the same with driving a car: if you’ve ever explained to someone the procedure for finding the clutch bite point, you will realise just how much of what you do is “in the grey matter”.
So I salute driving instructors around the country, teaching others the skills of controlling a car; it is an art and skill that needs patience to deliver, and not all are capable of doing it.
By Iain Betson