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Old 13th June 2019, 01:41   #31
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Default Re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

Letís not underestimate the people who can take the challenge to help others learn driving; it requires a lot of calmness. When one of my friends was learning to drive and I was sitting on the back seat I realized that I don't have the patience to teach someone to drive.
I became a regular driver years after getting my license. I learnt driving when I was young but I always drove in my colony or on empty stretches of roads. I went to College and had nothing to do with driving for more than 4-5 years. So, when I bought myself a car I nearly had to relearn everything. I realized very quickly that driving in traffic is completely different from driving on empty roads. My BHPian friend taught me driving again from scratch and because I already had driven I grabbed everything quickly and started driving within 4-5 sessions. One thing that I had to learn myself is that driving on single lane highways is completely different from driving in city or 4 lanes; you need to work your gears much more to overtake.

What my experience says is that everyone is going to make small mistakes and escape situations that could have otherwise turned ugly. You donít only have to learn driving but you also need to understand what kind of idiot drivers are present on roads and how pedestrians act. You have to understand that not everyone on road knows how to drive safe and you have to be extra cautious at all times. Apart from this you need to maintain your cool because you are always find people on roads whose road etiquette will make your blood boil.
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Old 13th June 2019, 01:56   #32
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Default Re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

Like so many others, it's my father who planted the basic rules of road / safety from very early age. Very few basic rules which I was taught at every point of my life.

Starting with walking, that's left is right / right is wrong.
Crossing the road or a level crossing, how to look right & left. Judging the vehicle speed / distance before making decision to cross.

Then when I started to ride my bicycle, how to turn left with smaller circle & wide with right turns.
How to indicate my intention towards the traffic back & infront for turns
How & why not to pull out of my lane (line) to overtake a slower pedestrian without watching the traffic behind or without indicating.
Why not to tailgate another cycle or allow some one (friends) to tailgate
Why not to brake late & judging the stop beforehand to brake slowly to allow better reaction time for some one behind.

Eye adjustment rather clearing up judgement. I was encouraged to simulate certain moves just to self understand how wrong or right I would be in real world with those decisions. More I saw & thought about those traffic conditions, better my judgement became.

When I first touched a bike, I could see I know most of the basic rules & my father didn't spend much time apart from asking me to memorize all the road signs. He gave only few valuable tips like,

Losing life isn't the issue, but for a few seconds of fun, spending rest of the life in wheel chair? He asked me to give this a good hard thought.
Secondly, rules are fine, by now he too knew I am well aware of the rules from early age, but he pointed me to the fact, go with the flow. In India others may expect you to ride or break a certain rule & they make up their driving judgement accordingly, so flow with that traffic otherwise I am increasing my chance of an accident.
He was really open towards speeding or accident. He told me so clearly, no matter how much I try, I may never avoid accident 100%. It's called accident for that reason only but every accident has a chain of event & removing one such link may help me reduce the consequences drastically. Like helmet & no alcohol.

So speeding? Fine but go out on an expressway, drive there for couple of weeks to understand traffic & road surface. Indentify a max possible empty time & stretch in day light, enjoy the ride.

Frankly speaking, with his encouragement & openness towards riding never gave me the urge to street race or rash driving.

He gave me freedom to enjoy riding, he taught me the comfort of a helmet. He never stopped his college going son from a long distance tour. In return he only asked me not to let him lose his confidence on me.

When I took charge of a steering wheel, his only advice was patience. Car really need lot more patience over a two wheeler. Secondly he also made me aware of the potential destructive power of a car. One mistake from me can cause a death in no time. Like bike even with car too, I didn't have much restrictions on traveling long distance.

What made me take his words & teaching seriously was his attitude to fight with others when everyone was really against so much freedom I was allowed with car/bike. I loved him more than I love riding/driving & his demand of not letting him down with this trust was my top priority over anything else.

That urge of protecting his respect never made me drive with alcohol, without helmet or those silly joy ride.

Didn't I have accidents?

Yes, couple of times.

Helmet saved my life once when I was rear ended at a red signal by a car who thought like everyone I too would break it.

Thankfully nothing major with car apart from once hitting a large rag full of vegetables falling from a 407 while passing me at high speed. There too, seat belt & Lancer saved the day.

Friends make fun of me for being over cautious with my driving or riding style but my mentality is already shaped in that way. I loved washing the car/bike from my childhood by joining hands with my father & even till now I wash my own car/bike (unless they need a pressure washing)

I love & admire these machines. I respect their destructive nature too & I thank my father wholeheartedly for teaching me all these and having faith & trust on me.
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Old 13th June 2019, 11:33   #33
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Default Re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

I learned driving from a school at Bhubaneswar last year.

The instructor was good but he taught me following lesson which is absolutely incorrect
Pressing clutch first and then break while stopping in any condition.

And following are few things I could remember he did not teach which are really important and should be taught to newbie
1. Adjusting seat position for best control and comfort
2. Holding steering properly
3. How to go downhill without using breaks
4. How to overtake another vehicle safely
5. How to drive in heavy traffic by staying in lower possible gear
6. Do's and dont's of night driving. Setting day/night mode of IRVM
7. How to set mirrors to minimize blind spots
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Old 13th June 2019, 12:47   #34
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Default Re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
For the first week (yes indeed, one whole week!), she would sit in a static car for 30 minutes each day...
And then came the next week. Empty private road, with zero traffic. All she did was, put the car into first gear, move perhaps 50-100 metres in a straight line, brake, stop, park (neutral, engine idling, parking brake on, feet off pedals) - and repeat. For the first day (30-minute session), she stalled the car countless times, both when moving off and when stopping. It took all of 4 days for her to get the hang of moving, stopping, idling, moving again, without stalling even once.
Originally Posted by Tgo View Post
[*]Do not swerve to avoid obstacles, almost always try to brake and shed the speed rather than going in other lanes by swerving.
Swerving is the lazy driver's alternative to stopping. Most folks swerve only because they feel lazy about hitting the brakes, shifting gears, using the clutch, and risking a stall. Once a newbie is confident that s/he will not stall the car come what may, s/he is not afraid or lazy about braking to a stop and immediately moving forward.
Originally Posted by kousikjana View Post
The instructor was good, but he taught me following lesson which is absolutely incorrect
Pressing clutch first and then break while stopping in any condition.
It does take a lot of practice to correctly judge the point when the clutch should be dipped as the car approaches stalling speeds, and it also takes some practice to completely let go of the clutch pedal quickly after moving off, without jerking the vehicle. You could now practise this on an empty road for a few dozen times until you get it absolutely right. Having an instructor sitting alongside helps of course.
Originally Posted by Tgo View Post
[*]Truck drivers have blind spots in proportion to their vehicle
Even car drivers and bike riders have large blind spots. Knowing how to minimize them is important, therefore one needs to remember to set up the seat and mirrors as per best practices on a daily basis before starting to drive. Driving instructors need to go through the process of having learner drivers set up their seat, steering and mirrors right at the beginning when getting into the car each day.
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Old 13th June 2019, 13:47   #35
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Default Re: How does one teach a newbie how to drive/ride safe?

Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
For the first week (yes indeed, one whole week!), she would sit in a static car for 30 minutes each day, shifting gears. I'd call out the gear numbers at random, and she would attempt to shift into that gear while pressing the clutch pedal, from the previous gear with eyes closed.
That is such a fantastic way to teach the controls.

In my case, I had to teach my wife how to drive. I got her enrolled to a driving school to get the basics. I knew that once the basics are clear I would impart whatever knowledge I have about driving to make her a better driver.

The driving school was pathetic. Even after a month of lessons, they had not taught :

1. How to reverse properly. No usage of ORVMs.
2. How to engage gears. The gears in the driving school car were abused and could be slotted diagonally in place of the H gate way.
3. How to drive without resting your foot on the clutch. My wife was taught that the left foot has to rest on the clutch when cruising.
4. How to slow down. She was told to press clutch whenever brakes are pressed.

The above teachings along with many others had to be corrected by me before we bought a car for her.

Apart from the above, one thing I really emphasized on was the reaction to an emergency. I used to remind her about the common mistakes that learners make when they panic like pressing the accelerator, sudden braking when not required, not making themselves predictable etc. and how not to make the same mistakes.

Didn't have to teach too much of road sense since like your daughter, she has also been my co-driver/navigator for thousands of kilometers plus she was a two wheeler rider before.


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Old 13th June 2019, 15:39   #36
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Default Re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

I got my driving license back in 2004. I learnt driving on our humble Maruti 800. To make me familiar and comfortable with the pedals and gear shifting, my Father told me to shift the gears when the car was stationary and ignition off. Once I was able to do that, there was enough space in our society to go upto 3rd gear and could try reverse gear as well. Later after getting my Learner's License, I practiced on the roads with my friend, usually late in the night when there was minimum traffic and even less pedestrians. Also correct positioning of the IRVM and ORVMs is important during turning and on the Highways. There was a book about Safe/Defensive Driving by Loss Prevention Association which highlighted all the road signs (and their meaning) one might come across in India.
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Old 14th June 2019, 15:25   #37
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Default Re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

This is such a nice thread for newbie drivers and driving instructors as well. Thanks to SS-da for starting it.

I also remember the days during my childhood ,of riding a bicycle on the road for the first time. Those days, the roads was no where as chock-a-block as today but still I'm sure every newbie cyclist, 2-wheeler driver etc. can relate to this. There is fear of being run over by speeding cars, truck or anything motorized, fear of being honked at your mistakes, fear of dropping the stuff your're carrying on your bicycle carrier, fear of not being able to brake as quickly as the other motorized vehicles.

I want to draw just one thing from this and share it with other folks - just think of the days when you were in their place, battling the weather, noise, chaos and the pollution. Be considerate towards such commuters on the road in a way you expected them to be towards you.

One thing that people learn by themselves (..well some people take an eternity) is a sense of judgement or anticipatory response behavior (if that's even a word). These people:
  • Dont zig-zag in traffic without looking at the brake lights of the vehicles behind which they feel a gap emerging.
  • Shed their speed immediately on realizing that the highways have led them into the suburbs even though there are no signs indicating the same.
  • Know that a bus or a truck will move into the fast lane when overtaking a motorcycle or a cyclist in the service lane (India specific).
  • Know to be extra cautious while night driving in the rain since the effectiveness of headlamps is compromised substantially.
  • Maintain lower speeds when carrying extra load in the car.

Anecdotal Extras:

Teaching my brother to drive:
I remember taking him to an empty plot and making him pick up stones to mark a course of sorts. I asked him to follow the course in reverse using only his rear view mirrors aimed towards the road behind quite a few times.

I also checked him quite a few times to the 10:10 or 9-3 position rather than relaxing his arms and holding the steering at the 6 o'clock position.

Teaching my mother to drive (she still doesn't):
That's when I realized that some people are actually not meant to drive. She was one of those who panicked at anything that was out of order. "That man walking on the side of the road is not looking at me. Has he seen me or not? should I honk? Am I going too fast? I forgot to check the rear view before braking. I think I am in 3rd gear. I did this wrong. I should have taken that turn in 2nd, I will remember to ALWAYS do that in future. Which side is the fuel door of this car? Her thoughts were totally haywire while driving. She was doing the right things and asking the right questions but it was big jumbled up bundle. She has tried to learn driving thrice in her life but still prefers to be driven.

Teaching my friend to drive:
Quick learner types. I just had to tell him a few pointers one needs to tell a person graduating from a 2-wheeler to a 4-wheeler (warning lights, washer fluid reservoir, fuel cap ratcheting, defogging the windscreen and changing the tyre. Simple logical stuff. He figured out the rest on his own.

Teaching my wife to drive:
I have to constantly keep nagging her to go the extra mile and drive through some complicated scenario or the other to become a better driver every day. Things like parking your car facing outwards in the shed, parallel park etc. Things she does reluctantly but with a sense of achievement at the end.
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