Provide long experience


Becoming reasonably adept at any endeavour – like football, netball, bowling, chess or piano – requires hundreds of hours experience and many repetitions of correct performance. Driving is no different.

This page explains the importance of repetition in driving and how to benefit most from it.

As an experienced driver, you may have forgotten that driving a car in traffic was once a challenging task for you. Driving has become ‘automatic’ – you’ve learned to interpret situations quickly and easily through being exposed to them many times. Without thinking about it, you put a seat belt on, move off, and turn at intersections. At the same time you can talk with passengers.

When your driving became automatic, it provided you with spare attention. Safe drivers use their spare attention to assess and respond to the situation around them. Unsafe drivers may use it for talking on a mobile phone. What do you use it for?

A part of your job as parent/supervisor is to help your learner driver repeat the correct driving actions over and over again until these skills are automatic. You’ve succeeded when they can complete the action while breathing normally and can answer a question that requires them to think.

Here are some general suggestions for guiding long experience:


Suggestions More Information Get Ls as soon as possible, and get Ps as late as possible The more you can extend the learning period at either end, the more opportunities there are for lots of practice. Clarify what’s to be learned and progress A document outlining the correct actions will help greatly - ask your accredited Keys2drive driving instructor. Good driving habits will help you get started. When you discuss progress, provide feedback on the attention the learner driver requires to do the task. Take small, frequent steps Remember driving can be very complex. Practise small, simple parts in sequence. Avoid, if you can, big gaps between practice sessions. Repeat positive steps Bad experiences can turn you both off practice. Once successful at a task, repeat it correctly many times. Do clever practice, even when you’re not behind the wheel Make practice purposeful by talking about what you’re doing and why. Many tasks can be practised when the learner is in the passenger seat. Drive a lot. Ensure the learner’s logbook is up to date and whenever it's easy, go wider or deeper. If ever driving feels easy for a learner driver their understanding of good driving needs to be expanded. Widen and deepen the experience.

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