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robtheblade
23rd Apr 2014, 19:28
My son at the age of 27 has decided totake driving lessons. He was told he would need at least 20 forstarters and possibly more.

When I had driving lessons in the 60s,six or eight lessons seemed to be the norm. Can anyone explain why itis now the norm to need at least 20?

Fox3WheresMyBanana
23rd Apr 2014, 19:36
Because the road death rate is a quarter what it was in the 1960s, despite massively increased traffic, and most of us would like it to stay that way?

con-pilot
23rd Apr 2014, 19:40
Huh, cause they get more money for 20 lessons than for 8. :p

Not being able to speak for the UK when it comes to driving lessons, but at the age of 27, that does seem exceedingly high.

While I actually learned to drive in England at the ages of 13-15, (wink, wink, nod, nod) I had no formal driving lessons except from my father and some of his pilot friends*.

On my drivers test in the US when I was 16, I did recieve a few comments from the inspector about tending to want to drive on the wrong side of the road. Still passed.


* Whose sobriety could have been a bit questionable at times.

Kiltrash
23rd Apr 2014, 19:41
Apart from the obvious so the instructors gets more money.... it is more complicated. with the theory test and the 'what is under the bonnet' questions that we did not have to worry about

However looking at what some drivers that pass. god knows how?

I had no formal lessons and passed at 19 taught by my Grandad. so dont believe everything the instuctor tells you,

I suggest a couple of formal lessons and get them on your car insurance to they can get the mileage in with a experianced driver

alisoncc
23rd Apr 2014, 20:46
Remembering hand signals to turn right, turn left and stopping can take a bit of getting the hang of. And it's important not to drive faster than the guy in the front with the red flag can run. Bad form to kill too many of them. One also needs to learn that pulling back on the wheel will not allow you to overtake by going over the vehicle in front.

:ok:

Rwy in Sight
23rd Apr 2014, 20:55
I am wondering if at the age of electronic diagnostics and roadside assistance attached to most insurance cover it is still necessary to have a formal training on what is under the hood.

Cars do drive faster today and they tend to isolate the driver from the road some more training is necessary on driving on a highway or when it rains.

Rwy in Sight

muppetofthenorth
23rd Apr 2014, 21:03
General rule of thumb has, for quite a few years, been that you'd need one lesson for every year of your life.

A bare minimum of 20 (not knowing what other road using experience he has or doesn't have) seems reasonable to learn the skills, practise the skills, gain proficiency and confidence in those skills in all different road conditions and be prepared for the test.

500N
23rd Apr 2014, 21:05
They have now set a minimum number of hours over here in Aus
which is IMHO quite good.

Partly because I don't think children nowadays get to play in cars / learn to drive in paddocks etc nearly as much as they used to.

Just my HO though.

JEM60
23rd Apr 2014, 21:21
I was a Driving Instructor for 39 years, with my own business. I retired 10 years ago. When I started teaching, the syllabus was small, traffic conditions were nowhere near what they are today. 10 years ago, you couldn't even cover the syllabus in 12 lessons from scratch, let alone coach your pupil to reach a 'test-capable' standard. Would you REALLY be happy letting your 17 year old daughter loose everywhere after a mere 12 hours on the road, even if she fluked a test pass with such minimum experience Over the years, I taught many people who COULD have passed in the minimum amount [whatever that was!]. but I always took the trouble to explain to them that there is NO substitute for experience. Those outside of this profession know very little of what is involved in teaching students this skill. It is nothing to do with instructors making money by giving excessive lessons. My goodness, I worked a 65 hour week and was constantly overbooked, so the sooner I could make space the better. It is all about your pupil [ and others!!] still being alive whilst they gain experience. I read several of my ex-pupils obituaries over the years, including a next-door-neighbours son, and he took two other people with him. He was a good pupil, with a high degree of competency, yet still he got it terribly wrong shortly after his test. Whilst a pupil may well get some experience with Mum and Dad, this will certainly shorten their learning time, but the days of 'I passed after only a dozen lessons from scratch' are long gone. The Driving Standards Agency have recognized this, and there may well be, in the not-too-distant future, a minimum number of lessons to be signed for before even being allowed to apply for a test. Bit like the minimum for a Private Pilot's Licence. I solo'ed after four and a half hours, but still had to complete the minimum number allowed by law, despite having covered the whole syllabus very early on. Like I said earlier. No substitute for experience with an experienced person. It keeps you, and others, alive!.

vulcanised
23rd Apr 2014, 21:26
It is (or was) often said that you learn to pass your test, then you learn to drive.

500N
23rd Apr 2014, 21:29
That is a fair call.

Can only talk of Aus but we had horrendous deaths over here when people were new to driving because of big cars,
big engines, fast roads and you can guess the rest !!!

con-pilot
23rd Apr 2014, 22:22
Bad form to kill too many of them.

I think our limit is three here. :p



Seriously now, from what I've seen, the number of lessons or the hours spend qualifying to pass driver's test seems not to matter when it comes to teenagers having accidents and/or killing themsleves and others by driving like an arsehole and/or being stupid.

The only real cure, which will not eliminate such, but hopefully reduce such tragic accidents, is to raise the age to at least 25.

Never happen of course.

When both of my sons got their driver's licenses I bought them old clunkers because I knew in the first year of two they would wreck the cars and they did. They bought their next cars out of their own money.

The oldest never had another accident, except on race tracks which don't count, the youngest, well I'm just happy I'm not paying his insurance.

ExSp33db1rd
23rd Apr 2014, 22:27
Bunch of trainee pilots sent to Canada, driving tests for Can. drivers licence conducted by the local butcher in the nearest village. Attended on a busy Sat. morning, butcher too busy but 'assumed' we all had UK licences ? Rhubarb, rhubarb, muttered by the assembly, Canadian licences quickly issued, next please, leg of lamb? certainly.

We then took 2 of the new licence holders outside - and taught them to drive!

My lips are sealed. ( my own UK experience was a couple of lessons from my Dad, don't think there was even a driving school in the town, and passed the test first go. )

Motor bike licence issued on the strength of my old school pushbike fitted with an auxilliary 25 cc. two-stroke built around the back wheel.

Life was easier before computers and bureaucrats.

Never taken another test since.

Kept my Canadian licence in my wallet for many years, it showed my age, 21. Allowed me to drink in the USA for many years ! No photo of course.
I still have it, perhaps I should auction it on Fleabay ?

Aussie wife of UK friend drove on Aus. licence until nearing the time to take the UK test, failed the test, waved two fingers at the examiner and removed the "L" plates and drove home - legally. (Eventually had to re-take the UK test of course.)

500N
23rd Apr 2014, 22:28
"The only real cure, which will not eliminate such, but hopefully reduce such tragic accidents, is to raise the age to at least 25."

They have done a couple of other things here in Aus that have helped.

1. No more than 1 other in the car at certain times - night I think.
This tends to stop the egging on behavior !

2. They restrict what cars you can buy, no hotted up V8's !

3. Zero alcohol level which has certainly made a designated drivers the go.

aerobelly
23rd Apr 2014, 22:50
Vulcanized: It is (or was) often said that you learn to pass your test, then you learn to drive.

My dad said "I'll teach you to drive. Passing the test is your problem."

So, a few weeks after my 17th I had a pink(?) slip saying "passed" to tuck into my red booklet driving licence, and my dad took me outside and said "See that new Austin 1800?" "Yes dad." "It's mine. If you need a car buy your own." So that was me, still working on the A-levels, on my bike (Viking Severn Valley, Campag, etc...) for another year or so...

... Gave the old devil a fright when I first took him out in my Cooper-S though (had to wait until I was 21 for the insewerratz), and even more when I pitched up with a Lotus (at 25, insewerratz again), my first of many.


'b

A A Gruntpuddock
23rd Apr 2014, 23:03
On my 17th birthday my dad took me to the local registration center & bought my provisional license.

About 1 mile out of town on the way back he stopped the car, got out & told me to drive the remaining 12 miles home!

"Whit!!!" sez I, "Don't know how to drive!"

"You know what the pedals and other controls do, get on with it."

Fortunately, back in 1962 there were still very few vehicles on the road, especially in Fife.

After that, if we went out together, he drove out & I drove back.

It was a tired old 1936 Austin 10 with a top speed of about 50 mph but the biggest problem was the poor brakes.

Got 5 lessons on one of the new Ford Anglia 105s to teach me how to take the test (instructor knew all the test routes) and fortunately passed first time.

Could never get away with that nowadays because of the traffic.

Best memory of the test was banging on the door pillar because I hadn't heard the 'trafficator' going out when I indicated a right turn. Examiner thought I had gone doolally until I explained. Then he gently reminded me that the Anglia had flashing indicators .... :uhoh::\

On the emergency stop I really stood on the brakes (as usual), forgetting that the Anglia had nice, new, shiny front discs & nearly sent the examiner through the windscreen.

Tankertrashnav
23rd Apr 2014, 23:58
General rule of thumb has, for quite a few years, been that you'd need one lesson for every year of your life


When I took up flying at the age of 60 I had visions of going solo after 8 - 10 hours, which seemed to be the norm in my youth. My instructor tactfully informed me that half of your age, expressed in hours, wasn't a bad rule of thumb.

Well I didnt take 30, but it wasn't a whole lot less :(

llondel
24th Apr 2014, 02:40
I was a Driving Instructor for 39 years, with my own business. I retired 10 years ago. When I started teaching, the syllabus was small, traffic conditions were nowhere near what they are today. 10 years ago, you couldn't even cover the syllabus in 12 lessons from scratch, let alone coach your pupil to reach a 'test-capable' standard.

Once I had had my starter lessons, I mostly drove my father around while waiting for my test date to come round. When I got home after passing, my mother just handed me her car keys and told me to go get her something from a shop in town. A few days later she let on that she did it to get me to do my first solo without having to worry about it, on the road and driving on my own.

The accident rate is down to lack of experience, and no amount of test syllabus is going to overcome that unless it manages to include a minimum number of logged hours behind the wheel. Bumping up the minimum age won't help that bit. Youthful invulnerability is probably the other main cause of accidents, that would benefit from extra restrictions based on age.

pmills575
24th Apr 2014, 05:27
The crazy part about getting a nice new UK driving license is that a new driver can drive on motorways never having done so before, it simply makes no sense.

Takan Inchovit
24th Apr 2014, 05:30
When I taught my 3 kids to drive it was my big lesson on communication for survivals sake.

I ended up treasuring, looking forward to and dragging out the lessons as much as possible. This was 'forced time' with them as I knew they would be going their separate ways in the not too distant future. Just wish I could do it all over again. :)

acbus1
24th Apr 2014, 06:18
The Driving Test should include an accurate assessment of IQ. Less than twelve and you're out!

That should reduce road congestion considerably.

mixture
24th Apr 2014, 06:44
When I had driving lessons in the 60s,six or eight lessons seemed to be the norm. Can anyone explain why itis now the norm to need at least 20?

Beware of where you go....

If you go to one of the chains (or a larger independent), they see you as a money making machine and will try to flog you a minimum block of lessons and then stretch out lessons.... and then going lower down the pecking order than that, there are some bottom feeding scum companies will tell you that you can't go out on the road until you've had a block of lessons in their "simulators".... those "simulators" are 100% a waste of time (and money... because sim blocks are charged independently of driving blocks at those companies).

Seriously. I know someone who took driving lessons recently... they were making good progress, so the instructor started stretching things out, for example, during one lesson their instructor spent 25 minutes sitting with them in a stationary car discussing the seatbelt and how to put it on and take it off.

Driving is not rocket science. You should take lessons on a pay as you go basis with a decent company .... if it takes 10 lessons, then so be it, if it takes 20 then so be it.

Newark_Anagram
24th Apr 2014, 07:16
I had a stint as a driving instructor in the early 90s. When I gave up to move back into the electronics industry, pupils were taking on average 35 hours from scratch, to get to a good test standard. This was nothing to do with instructors trying to make money, I was doing 40-50 teaching hours a week, I didn't need any more!

The syllabus is tougher, roads are busier, more training and practice required. I don't know many drivers who could go round a typical L-test route without making an error that would fail them!

NA

jollyjoe321
24th Apr 2014, 08:17
I personally took 18 hours worth of lessons with an instructor before I did my test, drove around on a provisional licence with family, but not lessons as such with them. I guess it could have possibly been cut down a bit, but not a lot more, especially if you want to practice all the manoeuvres.

pvmw
24th Apr 2014, 08:49
The crazy part about getting a nice new UK driving license is that a new driver can drive on motorways never having done so before, it simply makes no sense.
......or having ever driven in the dark!

A few years ago I took and passed the Diamond Advanced test (which is the one prospective instructors have to take), simply because I’d been driving for many years and thought it time I had someone review my driving – plus the satisfaction of passing it.

Afterwards, I was “persuaded” by my neighbour to take his daughter for practice sessions (I wasn’t hard to persuade). He said he couldn’t, as all she did was argue with him – he was quite puzzled when I said she always did as she was told by me! She had all the lessons, but did about 30 hours out on the road with me as well. She said that all her friends were very jealous, they were all being taught to passs the test but she was the only one being taught how to drive. We practiced all the things she needed to learn, but didn’t spend hours driving in circles round the test routes. For example, one session was “fords” - we went out and I got her to drive through every ford I knew of within about 20 miles (we skipped one, as the board said it was about 4ft deep). We had several sessions at night, and another was “skids”. I borrowed a mate’s field, and we spent some time on wet grass learning what a skid felt like and how to react to one, what ABS felt like etc. After she’d passed, she then came and asked me to take her on a motorway (sensible girl!!) so we had a few hours on the M25, M11 etc.

I think its crazy that someone can pass a test and then drive on a motorway without any experience of one, without ever having driven at night and without ever having a session on a skid pan. The first time most people experience a skid is when they crash.

james ozzie
24th Apr 2014, 09:27
Thought this would be about golf

Cacophonix
24th Apr 2014, 09:37
Truth is driving skills that are perfectly honed in one environment may still leaving you sadly lacking in another. Having learned to drive in Africa at 16 and having learned the ins and outs of keeping a vehicle on dust roads at speed I thought I knew it all but my first experience of ice and snow in the UK had me spinning the old Allegro into a stone wall much to the amusement of my English half sisters... (I blamed the car of course)... :uhoh:

I guess we need to continue to learn all the time...

Caco

JEM60
24th Apr 2014, 19:19
The answer re motorway tuition [or lack of it] is simple to answer. There are NO motorways in Norfolk or Suffolk, for example, very little in Wales, only in the south, and are there any at all in Scotland.?? Therefore to attempt to give tuition, even to ex-pupils who have recently passed would be a logistical nightmare for any instructor who doesn't have easy access to a motorway Fortunately, I had access, and would always offer a 2 hour lesson after passing the test, though one had to allow 3 hours [therefore £60 plus pounds for the pupil to find,] and this is with easy access.! Without that access, it may well entail a whole day travel to and fro in order to give 2 hours instruction.. Take-up on offered motorway trips was patchy, even from sensible pupils Night time tuition, whilst no problem in the winter, becomes VERY difficult from late April to October, simply because it doesn't get dark enough until it's very late. I would not want to be working at 10.30 pm with an 8am start the next day, thankyou. So, looking at it from my ex-instructor point of view, motorway and night lessons are highly desirable, but impossible to plan, both from the instructors perspective, and the Driving Standards Agency's standpoint.

Lightning Mate
24th Apr 2014, 20:34
After driving for just under 40 years I took instruction from an IAM instructor - a police Class 1 patrol driver.


He taught me how to drive two cars at once.

Mechta
24th Apr 2014, 20:58
After driving for just under 40 years I took instruction from an IAM instructor - a police Class 1 patrol driver.


He taught me how to drive two cars at once.

Scalextric?

Shack37
24th Apr 2014, 22:02
When I passed my test in 1971 in Belfast I couldn't remove the L plates, just reverse them to show the R on the other side. The R meant Restricted ie a max speed of 45mph. Can't remember if Mway driving was allowed but you'ld be popular on a busy Mway doing that speed.

BTW JEM60, yes there are motorways in Scotland.

ExSp33db1rd
24th Apr 2014, 22:23
After driving for just under 40 years I took instruction from an IAM instructor - a police Class 1 patrol driver.Is the IAM still going ? I joined a million years ago ( 1960 ? ) and still have the handbook to hand. Wish I could re-print it and give it to 90% of NZ operators of motorised vehicles, "driver" is not the correct word in that context, having some meaning of comprehension of the task in hand - especially with regard to the use of direction indicators at intersections controlled by a roundabout ! ( actually that wouldn't help, the UK system as promulgated by the IAM is different, NZ actually "require" one to use a right indicator - why, is anyone going to go left-handedly around - but only if one is effectively turning right, as at a non-roundabout intersection. Still makes no sense, but the variations on that theme that one observes, makes one weep.)

Metro man
24th Apr 2014, 22:33
Australia has a system of restricting new drivers, depending on which state you are in there are limits such as zero alcohol, no high performance vehicles, fewer penalty points before loss of licence and not driving with more than 1 passenger under 21 who is not an immediate family member (unrelated by blood, marriage, or a guardian relationship) between 11pm and 5am.

aerobelly
24th Apr 2014, 23:21
A A Gruntpuddock On the emergency stop I really stood on the brakes (as usual), forgetting that the Anglia had nice, new, shiny front discs & nearly sent the examiner through the windscreen.

My test was in dad's new Austin 1800, with new-to-the market discs, nttm servo and even more nttm seat belts. I wore the belt, and had had a few weeks to try out the brakes -- and 4 years of driving various vehicles around RAF Cannock Chase in all conditions, sunny and dry to deep snow.

On the "emergency stop" test the car stopped in a dead straight line, under control the whole time, and in what I thought was quite a short distance. Examiner was not in a position to judge distance and control 'cos he was in the footwell.

'b

500N
24th Apr 2014, 23:42
I was searching for a caption photo and came across this :O

Oh dear !

Learner flips instructors car on second driving lesson !

Learner driver flips instructor's car... on her SECOND lesson | Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1265629/Learner-driver-flips-instructors-car--SECOND-lesson.html)

Bob Lenahan
25th Apr 2014, 17:42
Kids growing up in the 40s and 50s were much more physical than today, or since at least the 90s. We used to make out own toys, play ball, play many different physical games. Kids today don't. They're always in the house, on a computer or play station. It shows.
Bob.

Mechta
25th Apr 2014, 23:15
When I passed my test in 1971 in Belfast I couldn't remove the L plates, just reverse them to show the R on the other side. The R meant Restricted ie a max speed of 45mph. Can't remember if Mway driving was allowed but you'ld be popular on a busy Mway doing that speed.


That reminds me of an anecdote about a seasoned NCO on one of his later tours in Northern Ireland during the troubles. When asked by the 'wet behind the ears' first tourists in his platoon what the R plates were, the NCO replied, 'They don't have Learner plates in Northern Ireland. L is for Loyalist, R is Republican.'

Not until a number of innocent motorists with freshly issued licences had been dragged out of their cars and beaten up, were the first tourists put right.

ShyTorque
26th Apr 2014, 00:15
I taught my sons the basics and then handed them over to qualified instructors. The one thing I impressed on all of them is that a car is the most dangerous thing we are allowed to own in UK and to always think of the damage they could inadvertently inflict on others if they didn't take due responsibility and care whilst driving.

Two of them passed the driving test first time out, the third passed at second attempt. I forbade them to use motorways until I had shown them how to drive safely and they have all said that was the most valuable lesson of all.

jollyjoe321
28th Apr 2014, 08:28
Kids growing up in the 40s and 50s were much more physical than today, or since at least the 90s. We used to make out own toys, play ball, play many different physical games. Kids today don't. They're always in the house, on a computer or play station. It shows.
Bob.

You know, I've heard the opposite, especially in relation to flying, it can be argued that modern youngsters are more adept at manipulating controls as a lot of them spend a greater time using a similar concept (and areas of the brain) when playing the games/simulated version.