Driving Tips for Supervisors

Some Common Learner Mistakes

Driving Tips For Supervisors




Common Learner Mistakes
RMS Links and Information

Read our information on this page about:

There are some useful links to the RMS website in blue below.

For more Information on Manual Driving lessons and RMS Driving Tests please contact Geoff on 0426446955
Do remember we can’t take phone calls from you when we are on driving lessons. Please leave a message or maybe send a text or use the online enquiry form.

How well do you know your road rules? touch up on your road rules knowledge or maybe take a knowledge test.

The road rules form part of the requirement for your licence and will give you a better understanding when driving to help you make the correct decisions.

Going for your licence

When people go for their licence they should have a solid practical ability to drive and be confident with understanding road rules. Be prepared for independent driving not just because they qualify or are 17 years old and have finished 120 hours of driving. Not having enough experience can lead to mistakes and seems to happen too often so get some more practice.
Get assessed by Penrith Driving School to see if you or they are ready to be driving by themselves.

Part of learning to drive or preparing for a driving test is knowing your road rules. We mention this on many pages on this website the importance of knowing your road rules. Students neglect to read them. Make time to learn them.

Links to the RMS Below


RMS Homepage

Drivers Knowledge Practice Test

Car Knowledge Test Questions

Road Users Handbook

RMS Licence Information

P1 Licence information

10 Misunderstood Road Rules

Road Safety Rules

Guide to the Driving Test

Lesson Enquiries

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Driving Tips for Supervisors

Most parents like to try and teach their kids how to drive but at times it can be stressful for both kids and their parents. Some learners pick up driving a car quicker than others but it takes patience and practice from both sides.
These driving tips for supervisors are only a guide that may help parents and supervisors when thinking about teaching a new learner driver. This is not advice on how you should be teaching, that is up to you but don’t just get in the car and expect kids to drive. 

Teaching a new learner

Teaching is like a book you need to break down the chapters then break down the paragraphs to gain the full story. Just reading the chapters without the paragraphs will not give you an understanding of the book. Some learners will comprehend and understand driving better than others. Being able to break down that book when teaching is very important which helps with learning.

Getting Ready

1.Plan Your Drive
Plan where you will be going to teach your driving lessons. It should be somewhere quiet with minimum traffic may be an industrial area on a weekend. Maybe a large car park at sporting ovals if not busy or a wide quiet street can be a good starting point.

2.Pre-vehicle check
Always perform a pre-vehicle check prior to driving to make sure the indicators/blinkers, brake lights are working and check your tyre pressures. Under-inflated tyres will affect vehicle control and ensure the car is roadworthy preferably with insurance. Tyre pressures should be checked at least once a month don’t wait until your next service, check your spare while you at it.

3. Never Assume
Never assume a new driver knows what you are talking about, you should always explain the operation of all instruments and controls. Give a demonstration of controls that will be used and have them explain back to you those operations. Terminology is important to be clear on what you say.

4. Ask Questions
Ask the learner questions about the operation of brakes, steering, accelerator, clutch etc. If they don’t know then you will need to explain how each item works and the dangers of those items if used incorrectly.

5. Teaching Requirements
The way you interpret your own knowledge of driving may not be enough so your experience should be combined with the RMS learning requirements. The road rules should also be included to ensure a learner is learning correctly from the beginning. It’s not just about getting into a car and driving as cars can be dangerous if not properly kept under control. How you drive will be different from how they drive.

7. Think Ahead
When giving instructions to a learner be very clear and in advance as instructions can be easily misinterpreted by someone who may not fully understand what you mean. You should also be thinking ahead and always anticipate the learner will make a mistake. By accident using the wrong word in a sentence, you could end up with a learner turning right when you meant to go straight.

8. Understand a Car
Don’t expect a new driver to understand the dynamics of a vehicle and how much braking, accelerating or turning may be required to control a vehicle and if uncertain give a demonstration and explain what you are doing.

9. Having Patience
Be patient with learners because what you may think is easy can be difficult for a new driver to comprehend. They also must learn muscle memory to be able to operate vehicle controls efficiently and effectively. What you take for granted in the way you are able to “multi-task” a new driver does not have this skill which is only gained over time.

10. Understand the Roads Rules
Too many learners don’t know or understand the road rules. This should also form part of learning and remember you should also be following the road rules when driving as new learners can pick up “if’s ok with you then it’s ok for them”.

11.Making time for Practice
Learning to drive should be taught as a subject just like at school so making time with good quality practice. It is important as driving on the road is more dangerous and comes with a higher risk than going to school.

12. Be Positive
If you are teaching properly then there should be no yelling and screaming and try to avoid being negative to learners. Even positives can come from a negative situation as learners need to make mistakes. This allows them to learn the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong.

13. Practice what you Teach
Parents and supervisors should know the road rules along with the RMS learning requirements that need to be taught to inexperienced drivers. If they aren’t learning properly this does result in the learner forming bad habits. Teaching incorrect driving techniques and not being aware of what they should be doing from the beginning will show towards the end of their hours.

Fact not Fiction
Based on our lessons with students we see a lot who struggle to drive safely and have a lack of knowledge. They don’t know the road rules and are unable to control a vehicle properly. This is usually because of not practicing enough in areas of driving that are difficult or areas that require continual adjustments. This is more so in students getting ready for driving tests.

A student starting out is not expected to understand or have the same knowledge or skills expected of someone with more hours. Over time they will learn but only if they are being taught correctly from the beginning.

Driving is a Risk
Driving can be dangerous and is a risk every time we get behind the wheel. The more knowledgeable you are and the better skilled you are can help you reduce risks. By being smarter and better than other drivers can help you when on the road.
It’s not possible to teach all variables of driving when on the roads as the traffic conditions can change. This can be in an instance but with road awareness knowledge and safe driving skills, this may help avoid an incident.

Never have the view “it won’t happen to me” accidents happen. Somebody must be at fault but if you’re smarter than other drivers it may not be you.

Penrith Driving School is experienced in training inexperienced drivers by laying the foundations of driving. We also prepare advanced drivers for the driving tests and beyond.

Common Learner Driver Mistakes

Penrith driving School provides quality and informative driving lessons in both Automatic and Manual vehicles. (Automatic Male/Female) and (Manual Male only). Instructors Geoff and Marina have put together a list of the more common mistakes learners/parents can make when teaching.

There are many areas of driving for inexperienced drivers to learn and understand. It takes time for a newer driver to gain confidence and the understanding of how to control a vehicle. The accelerator, brakes, steering and or clutch/shifting take time to learn how to coordinate them properly.  You also have to learn about reading and understanding traffic and of course making decisions. This all takes time and practice. 

Get Prepared Early

Driving is about being prepared, being alert and being aware of your surroundings all the time. Knowing what you should be doing in line with understanding the road rules. You should always have solid vehicle control as it only takes one error of misjudgment to result in an accident. Our list is not all the mistakes but some of the more common based on our experiences, our observations and conversations with students during driving lessons.

1. A New Subject
Think about learning to drive as a new subject just like at school so if you prepare properly by learning the fundamentals and basics. This will be built into your driving at an early stage which will help to automate your reactions over time.

Fundamentals can be understanding the vehicle, the vehicle controls, and the basics can be controlling the vehicle. Control the vehicle with the use of the accelerator, steering, braking and or the clutch etc. You should not disregard the basics.

2. Know the Road Rules
Too many inexperienced drivers and those with some experience still, don’t know the road rules. How can you drive a vehicle properly on the road if you don’t understand what you should be doing?. Too many think “I did my DKT test (Drivers Knowledge Test) and passed”. Answering 45 questions does not form the road rules. Read the Road Rules. Understand the Road Rules.

3. Read the Learners Log Book
Failure to read their Learners Log Book and understand the 20 Learning Goals that should be taught. Some parents also fail to read this log book and properly interpret what they should be teaching.

You should not be signing pages if a learner has not met those learning goals. Learners need to show that have a competency of that learning goal. Your only cheating yourselves and can put students at risk. Learn properly why would you cheat with your lives?

4. Understand your Car
Trying to learn too much too soon, you should learn how to control the vehicle firstly when using the steering, brakes, and accelerator.

Sometimes if learning a manual vehicle start in the automatic first to gain some road experience so you are not trying to operate to many controls at once. It takes time to coordinate your movement of hands and feet to control the vehicle, especially in a manual vehicle.

5. Observation Checks
Not conducting observation checks as required or knowing how to correctly do an observation check. You are not the only one on the road and cars can from nowhere so know who’s around you all the time. Observation checks also called blind spot checks are required to be learned as part of the driving test.

6. Not monitoring mirrors and speedo enough
Not observing mirrors, speedo and dash frequently enough which leads to speeding. leaving blinkers on and not being aware of your surroundings.

7. Incorrect Steering Techniques
Bad posture and bad steering techniques lead to poor vehicle control. Hand over hand steering is a bad steering technique to be learning in normal cars it leads to poor vehicle control and oversteering. This is especially prevalent in manual vehicles as students lose control while trying to shift. Students also try to steer with both hands at once which is also an unsafe habit.

The best steering generally for a learner is “pull down push up” or shuffle steering which provides very good vehicle control. Read your log book it has pictures of where your hands should be as a guide.

8. Turning Misjudgements
Misjudgment when turning or steering due to being too fast and or being too slow this leads to over steering or under steering which leads to incorrect road positioning and loss of vehicle control. You can’t be hitting the
kerbs or going onto the wrong sides of the road by not controlling your car properly.
Incorrect steering techniques can also cause this problem.

9. Not Looking Properly Ahead (Scanning)
Not driving to what you can see, vision is everything when driving and if you are not scanning (in the log book) properly when driving this can lead to accidents and mistakes. Too many students have a narrow vision only for the car not what is coming up ahead or what’s behind. It’s not all about you. Signs and line markings tell you what you need to know.

10. Not understanding Hazards or Responding to Hazards
Failing to recognize a “hazard” and being able to respond to the hazard in a safe way. Hazards can be anything that can come into your path when driving such as pedestrians, car doors opening other vehicles potentially pulling out or turning in front you. Vehicles behind you and oncoming vehicles moving towards your side of the road. Too many students swerve to avoid a “hazard” and don’t think about what could be coming towards them. 

11. Over Confidence
Thinking you can drive a vehicle properly. Driving is a continual learning experience no one ever stops learning when driving as every drive is different from the last one. The driving conditions are continually changing so be alert all the time. Learning the ability to be able to react and respond by using your vision is a must.

12. Narrow Driving
Not varying you’re driving enough to include different roads and streets instead of the same route to school or to the shops.
We call that “Nanny Driving”. Don’t just drive up and down straight roads.

Learn to go outside of your comfort zones to increase road awareness knowledge and vehicle control skills. 
It is required for a driving test so learning early results in better drivers.

13. Understanding Traffic
Learning to read the traffic and continually assessing the road conditions such as roundabouts, give way signs and traffic lights.

Most students are unable to use their vision early enough to make a decision. Stopping unnecessarily or giving way when it isn’t required.
Cars can be following you and stopping for the wrong reasons can result in accidents. Giving way for the wrong reasons can confuse other drivers.

This comes back to the road rules as some parents and most students don’t bother to fully understand them.
Did you know that Part 7 of the Guide to the Driving Test is called “Causing a Dangerous Situation” which is a fail item?

14. Not able to Drive Independently
Assuming you have done 120 hours (this does not relate to beginners) makes you a good driver. In some cases, less than 80 hours of driving given the “Bonus Hours” students can gain from an instructor or a safer driving course. Remember driving a car is one thing but driving a car to the RMS Driving Test Standards is another.

Not understanding how to drive

They are unable to show us they can drive independently without any assistance from us. This can because they don’t know the road rules, have been taken out of their comfort zone, can’t make safe decisions, have bad steering and poor vehicle control, speed too much, nanny driving is some reasons. Usually, this comes back to what they were taught and most of the time what they were not taught.

15. Getting a Licence for the Wrong Reason
Getting a licence for the wrong reason, unfortunately, the RMS allows anyone who “qualifies” for the driving test to attempt the driving test. If you struggle or are nervous, have a lack of confidence and ability you should really do more practice. Just because you somehow passed the driving test doesn’t mean you can drive.

How Many Lessons?
The old saying “how long is a piece of string”

Note: The RMS Driving Test requires a student to show “independent Driving”.
Students or drivers that cannot follow directional instructions or not able to do the required manoeuvres will struggle to pass a driving test.
How many lessons someone may need depends if they can drive by themselves or not. Students that only need sharpening up on skills like parking and manoeuvres is a process that may only take a few lessons to pick up. These are what we consider not to be too dangerous as long as observation checks are done and what we call a “static” skill.

Too many students think the rule on a roundabout is “give way to the right” because this is what they have been taught. 
Sorry, that’s not the roundabout rule but maybe if you read the road rules you would know the correct rule.

In our view driving is taken too lightly by some learners so practice, practice and more practice in the areas of driving you may not have confidence.

Penrith Driving School is always happy to answer any questions you may have so just contact us

Lesson Guarantee

Penrith Driving School offers a Lesson Refund Guarantee.
We are all human and sometimes a person may not feel comfortable when with one of our instructor.
We offer a free second lesson with another instructor (automatic only). If you believe you did not learn with our instructors we offer a lesson refund. 

Operating Hours 7 Days 6am-9pm

Penrith Driving School operates 7 days a week from 6 am to 9 pm 
Lessons can be the during the day, evenings and weekends subject to availability.

We are able to pick you up and drop you off at the station, your house and workplace subject to location.

For further information please contact Penrith Driving School and we will be happy to answer your questions.