Take a person who has just finished their third set of two-hour driving lessons. By this point they’ve gone through the basics of how to start a car and move it in a particular direction. Their driving instructor has covered gear changes with them, with third the highest point they’ve reached so far. Near the end of this six-hour period, they even started turning at junctions, going from minor to major roads and vice versa.
The question at this point is: has this person progressed to where they should be by now? Yes is the answer, and here’s why.
Firstly, you have to bear in mind that there is no adequate point at which you should be at by the time you’ve had six hours worth of driving lessons, or any number of hours for that matter. Everyone progresses at different speeds and learns using different methods.
This doesn’t even necessarily relate to how good they are at driving either. For instance, a person who takes on board everything instantly may easily forget it later, whereas someone who needs twice as many lessons for it to sink in may have a more developed long-term memory.
On top of this, the first few hours in every learner driver’s journey are almost always taken slowly. This is because getting into the driver’s seat of a car for the first time can be daunting, while you also have to run through stationary lessons like the cockpit drill. So you’re not expected to make much headway at this point anyway.
With regards to this particular person’s experience, what they’ve learned so far covers many of the basics of everyday driving. Starting a car, changing gear and turning corners are all essential parts of manoeuvring a vehicle, so the specific things that their instructor has taught them make sense.
As well as this, you have to remember that you cannot learn certain driving manoeuvres until you get to grips with these basics. For instance, you can’t properly get used to roundabouts if you’re not even comfortable with junctions yet. So spending a significant amount of time getting the early manoeuvres right can actually save you time – and money – in the long run.
Finally, it’s not just the learner driver’s preferences that have to be taken into consideration but their tutor’s as well. Every instructor teaches in their own particular way and sometimes that involves taking things slowly during the opening few lessons. Although that isn’t the case in this example, it’s a factor worth bearing in mind when trying to analyse a learner’s progress.