Driving is a psychomotor skill which combines thinking with physical action. The thinking comprises taking in information and using it to make informed decisions. On the other hand, the physical part of driving involves using the various controls and coordinating your physical movements. This means driving instructors need a high level of competency in the following areas:
As a driving instructor, the first step to rectifying your learners' driving faults is to identify them. Allowing your learner to aimlessly drive around without informing them of the mistakes they are committing narrows their chances of improvement. Fault identification has two stages: seeing the fault and informing the learner of the mistake. Your communication techniques should come into play to the fullest when informing your learner of the various faults you have spotted, without demoralising them. To spot driver errors, your approach should be more of active instruction instead of passive instruction. Proactively sensing faults before they happen requires that you concentrate on your learner most of the time and on the road ahead as well. The common types of driver errors you need to be aware of include:
- Coordination Errors – These errors include inadequate control of the clutch and gas pedal, car control when reversing, and driving at low speeds, among others.
- Procedural Errors – These errors are often committed when approaching junctions or negotiating roundabouts. They include taking the wrong lanes or failure to observe the traffic light signals.
Ensure you inform your learner immediately after the fault occurs instead of assuming they are aware of it.
This competency enables you to cross-examine the error and why it was committed. It is only after analysing the fault that you can take a remedial action. If it is beginner learner who commits the error, you will simply have to check their knowledge of the road basics before they start the car and get moving. However, if it is a more experienced learner who commits the fault, you will need to analyse deeply and, where necessary, enlist the help of the learner to fully understand what the problem is. The bottom line is that you need to practice these core competencies until you can fully handle any situation you come across, either at the driving school or out on the highways. You need flexibility in handling different scenarios because driving is varied, and every lesson presents new challenges.