Extra help for supervisors

Everyone comes to supervising a learner driver with different concerns – here are some of the common ones. You could also use some of the Keys2drive free driving lesson time to discuss any other worries you might have with a Keys2drive accredited instructor.

Dealing with fear

It's okay to be a little nervous when supervising a learner driver; stress will help you be alert and responsive to the situation. 

On the other hand, too much anxiety will make things difficult for your learner; they have their own stress to deal with, and will usually benefit from a calming influence. A highly-strung parent/supervisor can make L-plate driving more dangerous.

If you are genuinely anxious about the supervisory role, consider your options. If you feel the fear is not likely to be resolved, passing the job to someone else may be the right thing to do.

Otherwise, it might help to examine the risks more closely. Statistics show that supervised driving is actually the safest driving situation to be in. Fewer learner drivers and supervisors are involved in crashes than any other type of road user.

As long as you remain as careful in this position, your driving sessions should be a very safe activity.

Unsure about supervising?

You don’t need to be an expert to help someone become a safe P-plate driver. Being a good supervisor has more to do with remaining calm, listening and guiding your learner as they gradually gain lots of diverse practical experience.

But if you are genuinely unsure of your abilities as a driver, this is worth looking at carefully.

  • Assess your driving habits. Good driving ability is mostly made up of high-quality habits – take a good look at the driving habits you’re passing on to your learner. It’s more important that you can identify a poor habit in yourself and clearly instruct your learner to avoid it than it is to display perfect driving habits.
  • Assess your driving confidence. Being a little unsure of your ability generally makes you naturally cautious – this is a good position from which to offer guidance. Drivers who overrate their ability are far less useful to a learner driver.

If you truly lack confidence in driving, get help with your own driving before you start supervising, or pass the job onto someone you have more confidence in. A Keys2drive accredited instructor can help you in this area.

Dealing with conflict

Conflict and learning don’t mix. For the sake of learning safely, you and your learner need to work together to get along.

Show your learner that you can listen and that you’re willing to learn too.

If tension is brewing in the car, take responsibility for working it out. A lot of arguments and friction come from bigger issues unrelated to driving, but they pop up in the car because driving can be stressful. Defuse a ticking bomb by being calm and positive; you can deal with the issue, in a civilised fashion, out of the car.

Keys2drive is an Australian Government-funded program providing learner drivers and their parents/supervisors a free driving lesson with a Keys2drive accredited professional driving instructor