When you get your licence, your risks of crashing increase significantly. Suddenly, you have to find your own way, without the support and protection of a parent/supervisor or driving instructor. Find your own way now by taking active control of your learning. Get used to asking questions in a way that shows you’re curious.
If you’re not sure where to begin, focusing on forming good driving habits and working on your car control skills is a good starting point:
- Take control of the driving habits you begin to learn – talk to your parent or supervisor about working together on making your driving habits high-quality ones
- Work hard on your car control skills early on. Car control takes time and concentration, but it's easy compared to gaining good awareness and driving experience.
Do lots of driving and correct repetitions. When you do so, it helps develop smoothness, fluency, speed of action and then habits. When an action turns into a habit, we don't have to consciously think about it. We call this 'skill automaticity'; when you can perform a skill without conscious thought, you can direct your concentration towards other things.
When you develop skill automaticity at basic driving skills, things like changing gears, steering and stopping become second nature. You then have more attention for other things, such as traffic, hazards and managing new situations. It's important to develop safe habits that kick in and take care of most driving tasks. It's an essential part of safe driving and learning to drive safely.
It's also important not to let your habits lead to overconfidence. Habits are great only when they're great habits.
Be determined. Driving – like football, maths or piano – is a complex skill that takes a lot of practice. You should feel confident that you'll get there, but it definitely takes hard work.
Find the right support
When choosing a driving instructor, arrange to have a trial to see if their teaching style suits you. If you feel you're not being taught well, tactfully look for another instructor.
Your free lesson is a good place to start – a Keys2drive-accredited instructor can help you determine what you need to look for in a driving instructor.
You also need to ensure that you and your parent/supervisor are compatible. Have a look at How to work with your parent/supervising driver for tips on communicating.