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Old 10th June 2019, 19:52   #1
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Default How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

India has a strange problem - we have a lot of cars on our roads, and we have a lot of drivers willing to get behind the wheel. Our driving licences (DL) are easy to get. Although the government is gradually making those DLs harder to get, the successful owners of those DLs can hardly be considered safe drivers by any yardstick.

The problem is, there is no structured methodology about the process of learning to drive. There are hardly any driving schools in the country with trained trainers, and there are no manuals / guides / handbooks telling anyone how to teach anyone how to drive. However, the chauffeur employed by the family, the father, an elder sibling, or even a similarly-aged (and not-so-well-versed-in-driving) friend would be the initiator for someone who is about to get control of a one-tonne piece of metal (or sometimes even twice that weight) that can inflict immense damage to self and others if not controlled correctly.

Even in our driving training schools, full dual-control cars are a rarity as well (though partial dual-control in terms of the clutch and brake in the front passenger's footwell are a common jugaad), and the few available driving simulators are as outdated as our Ambassadors and Padminis.

Of course, even before the trainee is allowed behind the wheel, s/he needs to study and memorize the rules of the road and road signs. For this, one of the most current resources that I can recommend is this one:

Driver Training Manual WB Govt IITK.pdf

But all those instructions in that manual can only happen after the trainee has full control over her/his vehicle. How often do we hear about newbie drivers (even those with a valid DL)
- pressing the accelerator in panic when trying to stop? Or
- losing control over the car and steering the other way when reversing? Or, for that matter,
- stalling the car repeatedly when moving off on an upward slope? Or
- being utterly confused when parking vertically, obliquely or parallelly?

I am presuming almost all readers of this thread would have a valid DL, and each must have gone through some sort of training process before appearing for the DL test and passing it. So this thread sets out to explore what you did (and also, what you did not do) when learning to drive, and if you are asked to teach another person to drive, what would you like to do (or not do) that would be different from how you were taught. Also, how confident are you about handling your vehicle (whether 4 wheels or 2) now?
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Old 10th June 2019, 20:42   #2
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Default re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

My DL dates back to around 2006 when there were hardly any tests, more so in Orissa where I got my DL from. Never the less, learnt driving in my uncle's car who is probably one of the safest and slowest drivers I ever came across. He used to make sure I follow textbook rules while leaning to the T , which honestly at the age of 17/18 was pretty annoying at times Never the less, I got to drive my own car almost 7-8 years later and hence was old & patient enough to value traffic rules. If I got the car at 19/20 , not sure how would I have been behind the wheel. Am not really proud of the way I use to zip around in my friend's two wheeler back in college days.

Now am teaching my wife how to drive along with her school training. But what I noticed, the school fellows barely teach safe driving skills. Right to way, usage of low beams etc aren't even discussed. I try to do my bit by continuously teaching her whatever little I know viz;

1. no overtaking from left
2. maintaining safe distance
3. right to way
4. honking as less as possible
5. negotiating the omnipresent potholes

I guess these can be some of the starting points along with traditional driving school teaching. Dunno how successful I will be but hopefully it can make some small difference.

Personally I myself am still learning to deal with Bangalore traffic which is a different nemesis altogether . Used my old car first for a couple of years to get a hang of it but with new car it's always scary

Last edited by SoumenD : 10th June 2019 at 20:48.
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Old 10th June 2019, 21:04   #3
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Default re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

Getting the driving license was a sham. Of course, did go through the test properly, both the 'H' part and the road test. But in all honesty, it definitely did not set me up to confidently drive on the road.

I did not touch a car for 6 years after getting my license as we did not have a car at home and no one with a car was willing to help me along with my learning process.

My actual learning on the road was self taught. Bought a 2nd hand M800, a friend had to drive it home for me. I would take it out early every morning, first only in my street, then a little further down, then a small round along side roads. Once I started to feel comfortable, then to the main road early in the morning (All this in Bangalore). Slowly and steadily graduated up the chain. Started taking the car to office. Started taking close friends as co-passengers.

Probably a year after I bought the car, did a highway drive from Bangalore to Salem. (This was when most of the stretch was still 2 lane). That I would say was the coming of age drive for me where I finally felt confident and connected to the vehicle.

Maybe because I was self- taught, I was a highly defensive driver and although it has been 14 years now, that characteristic has not changed. I still continue to be a very defensive driver. In addition because of that, I was always a follower of rules as I did not want to be caught breaking one during my self teaching. That characteristic also has remained same.

Parking was always a tough one. Parallel parking was never something I learnt initially and although I am pretty ok now, not the best at it. My honking is also at an absolute minimum. Not sure how that came about though.

When my wife started driving (same background, had a license but never really drove), I followed most of the same principles through which I learnt. Defensive driving, no sudden movements, following the rules, short trips with increasing levels of difficulty. Parking was one area where I put additional focus and did differently (more practice basically)

Today the problem I see is that there is no attempt made to teach the concepts of following rules or the practice of defensive driving. So you end up getting a bunch of newbie drivers who think it is perfectly normal to force your way into gaps, overtake from all side, not use indicators when changing lanes, making sudden movements, parking haphazardly and so on.. At the very least following a basic etiquette when driving can by itself greatly improve the quality of a newbie driver.

Another issue in today's teaching methodology (especially in cities), is that a newbie driver is thrown right into the peak traffic and is expected to learn. I feel an increasing level of difficulty approach is the best way to mould a confident newbie driver. In this approach, some of the newbie mistakes don't turn out to be critical and hence does not dent the confidence of the driver.

To answer the final question: Whether I am a confident driver now. Definitely yes. Can I be a better driver? Probably yes again.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 10th June 2019 at 21:23.
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Old 10th June 2019, 21:57   #4
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Default re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

I am looking forward to more folks and their experiences, not about how they learnt to drive, but about the issues they faced when teaching someone else to drive.

Also, having learnt to drive, and after regularly driving for some years, do any of you feel that you could have been taught better?

I taught my wife to drive in the year 1999. It took one whole year for her to satisfy me about her skills and confidence behind the wheel, before I allowed her to appear for the driving test. Today, she is confident, but still resents the harsh manner in which she was taught.

Then in 2016, I taught our daughter to drive. The methodology was quite different (we'll discuss that in subsequent posts as we go along). She was much more confident after the training, although she failed her driving test at the first try, and had to appear again a week later, when she passed easily (that's another long story again).

My wife drives in Delhi and can cope with unruly close-quarters city traffic, but she's not confident about taking over on the highways at sustained high speeds, or about driving in a different country. My daughter is confident about sustained driving right at the 110 kmph speed limit without the aid of cruise control (that's in Australia), and she can handle most kinds of congested traffic, though she feels a little jittery about mad peak-hours Delhi/Kolkata traffic, especially where horns are used heavily. But she won't shy away from taking the wheel in whatever situation.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 10th June 2019 at 21:59.
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Old 10th June 2019, 22:16   #5
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Default re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

I have taught driving to few of my friends.
My wife refrained to learn from me, as she felt i shout a lot while teaching her.

To teach driving / riding, i start with these basic points-

1) First i ask them to read about the meaning of the road signs, understand how a signal works. Like when to stop or when not to stop!

2) Explain the controls of the car/bike.

3) Correct riding/driving posture. Holding the steering in a proper way, Vin Diesel style driving can wait, till he gets totally confident on his/her skills!
For example i insist to hold the steering on 9-3 position, not with one hand on the gear lever & the other at 12! That looks cool while going live on Facebook!

4) Setting the mirrors in the right way.

5) Basic rules like the distance to be maintained while tailgating, minimum honking, peripheral vision, anticipate early, use less brakes & use engine braking.

5) I prefer unused or empty roads to teach driving. Once they get the basic control, i take them to wide roads with less traffic, then to highway & lastly in city traffic.

6) To avoid road rage! Keep the ego aside. Do not panic and be cool.

7) Do not attempt speeds, you are not comfortable at. An Alto may overtake your Honda City, but that doesn't matter!

I got my driving license by giving proper test. My dad taught me driving and riding both.

He started with the basics.


Stop/slow down, look thoroughly and then proceed when joining a main road.

He never told me to drive slow, in-fact he loves fast driving but he always made sure, he taught me the difference between driving fast and driving in an unsafe way.
Few guys always take pride by saying, i never cross 80 km/hr, but he was like when its an open and safe stretch there is no harm in driving at 120 km/hr! Judging the road before speeding up is important.

I was taught accelerating from 0-100 km/hr is easy but stopping a vehicle from 100 km/hr -0 is always a tough task! So mastering the later was more important.

And off-course the basic road etiquette's like right of way, proper signalling etc etc.

Learning the road signs and signals.

Lastly i was taught few basic things like -

A scratch on a car can be ignored but a mechanical fault cant be ignored.

Changing a tyre.

Doing basic DIY's.

Checking the lights, tyre pressure, fluid levels time to time.

There are many more points that can be added, i just shared few basic points.

Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Also, having learnt to drive, and after regularly driving for some years, do any of you feel that you could have been taught better?
Regarding my confidence on road, yes i am confident on my driving skills, but there is no end on learning. There is lot more to learn.

Yes definitely i could have learnt in a better way. But when i learnt driving, on that time there was no internet, not so much awareness on safety.

Am coping up with these new learning over the time.

Issues faced during my early driving days -

Night driving on single lane highways. I never knew the trick on where to look when the opposite vehicle is coming towards me with high-beam on.

Driving on congested city for the first few months. I used to get tensed with all the buses and taxi's all around, driving rashly with constant honking.

Last edited by Samba : 10th June 2019 at 22:41.
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Old 11th June 2019, 08:55   #6
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Default re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
I am looking forward to more folks and their experiences... about the issues they faced when teaching someone else to drive.
Biggest challenge is teaching them about the traffic etiquette while folks all around you blatantly keep breaking them without an iota of consideration. A couple of examples:

1. I always stress on no overtaking from left but here in Bangalore, folks (specially 2 wheelers, cabbies & autos) just love your left side. Snap comes out the question 'when everyone is doing it regularly how is it incorrect & if it is, why are those cops not stopping them?' With sheer indiscipline all around it gets tough at times to explain that most of what you see is actually incorrect way of behaving in traffic.

However recently a friend's husband had a severe accident while overtaking from left and was bed-ridden for a couple of months with collar-bone fracture and some more. Although not an example you would want to cite, but that drove the point home.

2. Wearing seat-belts. My better half is from Raipur, Chattisgarh and using a helmet or putting on seat-belt is a joke there. I still remember, post marriage when I visited there 1st time(2016) and buckled up, I got some shocked looks & gyaan stating 'don't worry here the rules aren't as strict for seat-belt'. When I said 'its for my own safety rather than fear-of-cops', they thought am crazy. Changing mindset is more challenging often than actually teaching something new. I recall this line from Avatar movie wherein the tribal lady from Pandora says : Its hard to fill a cup, that's already full. Never the less having stayed with me for 3 years my better half now is a religious user of both seat-belts and helmets (while on 2-wheeler).

Last edited by SoumenD : 11th June 2019 at 09:12.
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Old 11th June 2019, 09:47   #7
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Default re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

I have an honest confession to make here in relation to the point about no honking. I use the horn abundantly as a safety tool in the car. As a driver, I'm paranoid that other drivers are not paying attention to me while I over take them or when I'm approach a crossing.

I feel the directive about no honking needs to be qualified a bit while teaching new drivers, lest they get the wrong idea.
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Old 11th June 2019, 10:09   #8
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Default re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

Originally Posted by rovingeye View Post
I have an honest confession to make here in relation to the point about no honking. I use the horn abundantly as a safety tool in the car. As a driver, I'm paranoid that other drivers are not paying attention to me while I over take them or when I'm approach a crossing.

I feel the directive about no honking needs to be qualified a bit while teaching new drivers, lest they get the wrong idea.
110% agree with this. The louder the horn, the better. (Roots megasonic/ Bosch Symphony). Whether honking on highway intersections, while overtaking or turning in residential streets I believe it's the only way to drive. I wouldn't honk one second after the light turns green, but honk whenever I feel someone's one second attention lapse will cause a mishap.
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Old 11th June 2019, 10:41   #9
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Default re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

I picked up most of the skills by plain observation and for that I always preferred to sit beside the driver; whether it was Public transport or a private car.
  • For instance, whenever I used to board a bus to reach my destination that passed through numerous hair-pin bends, I occupied the seat that is perpendicular to the driver's seat in the bus with my shoulders nearly touching the front windscreen. I recollect how the driver would ask me to bend down to be able to properly see in the left ORVM and that is when I would wonder about the importance of mirrors

  • When traveling in private vehicles with a single bench seat, the slightest hint that the driver is getting uncomfortable or irritated that his elbows (column shift) or the gear lever (floor shift) is touching my knees would make me extremely conscious that I would somehow sense the need for a gear shift and move my legs away to make the driver feel at ease - To be a good driver you must also learn to be a good passenger!!

  • Importance of driving under low beams and switching to low beams when facing oncoming traffic was another aspect I picked up through my uncle; thanks to most driving restricted to single carriageway during those days in the region where I grew up

  • Respecting heavy traffic, especially when you are facing the vehicles ascending the hairpins - This was something I picked up sitting in front of that bus or a car whenever we travelled to reach the cost passing through the ghats - Weekend getaways are the biggest source to find out how many drivers still don't understand this

  • Lending a helping hand during a flat tire - Trust me, I have done this without hesitation even when I am dressed in full formals (I know I could always wash hands later). I hate to see how sophisticated professionals stand beside folding hands. The same professionals are seen struggling to fix that jack and replace the wheel!!

  • Understanding and gauging the speeds of oncoming vehicles - We used to travel to Bangalore quite often and most of the times the cars have been either the humble M800 or the Esteem that my uncle had. One of the drives he explained how on a single carriageway, it is important to judge the speed of the oncoming vehicle before attempting to overtake - It can be based on the type of vehicle (Car or a truck or a bus) or depending on whether the approaching vehicle is speeding down on a gradient (obviously the speeds will only increase for that vehicle)

Today, I drop my kid to school every day where she sits on that booster seat in front belted and ready to pick up a lot of driving manners which will certainly aid her in future. It is extremely important that as a responsible parent, you must start conversing with your kid about the importance of traffic rules and basic driving etiquette. I am glad to say that we talk at least one topic every day not due to compulsion but more so due to virtue or because of spotting some unusual or interesting incident ahead of us.

Only today on the fast corridor near my home, I had to really stop the car before the stop line as the light turned amber 20 meters before the stop line and I was seeing 2 wheelers already inching forward to cut the traffic. As soon as I stopped, my daughter was quick enough to tell me that it was "dangerous" and then I had to explain how I first checked the mirror and spotted none behind that I braked in time or else I may have stopped few meter ahead of the stop line. These kind of incidents lead to conversations and it simply implies to me that in future I may have to preach less as she will begin to drive at an appropriate age.

Your thread is referring to a teach a newbie how to drive/ride safe but I have come across quite a few experienced drivers in the last 6-7 years alone (Thanks to quite a few group drives) where I realised that there is a lot that these so called experienced drivers need to learn before they continued driving :
- Importance of gradually picking up speed as soon as you hit the highway
- How not to abruptly pull over spotting a Hotel or a fuel station
- How not to make anyone else brake because of you
- Importance of reading that owner's manual
- How driving fast and driving rash are 2 aspects altogether
- How not to park on a curve
The list will go on but the emphasis clearly should be on how to still be a safe driver despite of experience. I don't hesitate to say that I learn every single day even today.

In the end, you be a good and safe driver you need not pick lessons during driving at all.

Someone mentions about the importance of knowing road signs and how true it is - I had to give a written test at Yeshwantpur RTO for my 4 wheeler DL and I finished it first and handed over the paper to the Inspector. I was sitting quite and then I heard the Inspector call out my name and asked me my qualification and then he said "good, you have scored 15/15"!! This was mainly possible because of the curiosity and interest that I had right since my childhood about roads and signs and automobiles and glad that it helped here.

Last edited by paragsachania : 11th June 2019 at 10:44.
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Old 11th June 2019, 11:00   #10
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Default re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

Based on my several unsuccessful teaching sessions, I guess, teaching driving should be systematic and stage wise. For example some people can take several weeks just to gain steering control. Learners should take ample time/training in basic skills before moving on to advanced stages. Typically driving schools don't have time, they tend to rush to somehow get you a license and move on.

Found this link on five stages of learning driving. The most important one is Stage 2.

Stage 2: The Basic Skills

In this stage, the teen driver needs to learn how to maneuver the vehicle and make it do what the driver wants. Most of these skills can be learned in an empty parking lot. At the end of this stage, your teen should be able to:

Make safe turns, both left and right, including signaling
Stop the car smoothly
Shift gears if using a manual transmission
Back the car safely and straight
Show awareness of his or her surroundings
Learners should spend as much time here as possible before they get on to civilian roads. Otherwise it can turn quite dangerous. One of our office colleague (novice) ran over security gate confused by accelerator for brake.

Last edited by Thermodynamics : 11th June 2019 at 11:14.
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Old 11th June 2019, 11:03   #11
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Default re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

I feel the Accidents in India thread on our very own forum is a good way for a newbie to come across all possible scenarios which lead to an accident. Wise people have said,one should learn from other's mistakes, therefore understanding the causes and consequences of accidents is also an effective way to remember to drive safe. Whenever I'm on road I keep a check on my driving by reminding myself about mangled remains of a car that I have and come across and my beloved family members waiting for me at home.
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Old 11th June 2019, 11:09   #12
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Default re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

I'm looking forward to getting my hands on my driving licence in January 2020. Speaking from experience, I learnt the basics of driving a car by practicing at 6 AM on a closed off loop of a road (kind of like a cul-de-sac) with my foot on the brake pedal and the car rolling in D. The main problem is Indian drivers in general. Learning to drive seems fine in theory. But out on our roads, it's a completely different scenario. Time behind the wheel is essential to develop our reflexes towards the Indian driving scene.
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Old 11th June 2019, 11:18   #13
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Default re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

Back in 2011 after I mastered driving quickly and after we had bought a used Swift, I set about teaching my brother in law and dad to drive. I've shared information about a place in Chennai (as SS-Traveler might remember) where one can drive in simulated real world roads minus any traffic ( (Superb place to learn to drive - Institute of Road Transport (IRT), Chennai)). So that's where I took my brother in law and dad to familiarize them with controlling the car through curves, inclined surfaces, how to park etc.

I'd also point out that the Institute of Road Transport was used only after we were detained by the Railway Policy in the Chennai Velachery MRTS railway station's huge vacant open grounds where I had initially tried teach them. The Railway Police were furious at all these learners who were circling around the grounds and they set an example for everyone in the ground at that time by detaining us and making us pay a hefty fine for tresspassing...

Anyway, once my dad and BIL were familiarized with driving, we took to the roads at times. Thankfully my BIL bought his own car and then picked up driving on his own. I botched my dad's learning by chickening out totally. I would lose my marbles (mentally, i.e.) whenever he would take turns at high speeds in 4th gear and it got to the point where he stopped asking me to guide him. My dad never bought a car in his younger days so that I could go to college twice and so that my sister could also get education and get married off. When my dad tried learning driving at the ripe old age of 55, I let him down!

I haven't forgiven myself ever since. I can be so heartless, apparently.

In 2015, in the US, I decided to teach my friend to drive. Once he'd gotten his learners permit over there, I had him rent out a small sedan with full insurance coverage from the rental agency. Even if we totaled the car, we could walk away without fear of a lawsuit from the rental agency. With that small Nissan Versa (a.k.a the "Sunny" in India), I took him to a vast open unused parking lot of a strip mall and through the course of 2 weekends I taught him to control the car. He went on to clear the driving test and obtain a driving license.

Now, in September 2018, I bought my wife our used A Star Automatic with ABS so that she can drive without having to worry about shifting gears. She has coped well. She had already gotten her license after being taught to drive a manual Swift by a driving school. Here are my observations with my wife's learning process-
* She forgot to press the brakes with her foot on 2 occasions in the A star; she'd pressed the accelerator instead! Thankfully there were no vehicles around at the time. It was sheer luck that saved us.
* She ran over a street dog out of nervousness in her initial days at the wheel of the A star. The dog had sat down hunched when the car came over it, so it lived to tell the tale.
* She hit a pedestrian's elbow with the left-side ORVM once albeit at a slow speed. That set her on a downward spiral whereby she went from a wonderful student of driving to a nervous wreck. She started overcompensating by taking wide turns and ended up eventually hitting an Uber at a narrow 'S' bend near our home. We have a dent on the right corner of the front fender to show for it and my wallet is lighter by Rs.2000. We realized that one can't see the bonnet from the driver's seat at all and I have since fixed a judgment rod (a.k.a ornamental antenna) which needs to be screwed on to the fender. Others drill the car's body and attach a longer ornamental antenna on the anyway, this judgment rod on the left-edge of the bonnet has kept my wife confident while navigating narrow gaps at least. I will come back and attach a pic of this judgment rod.
* We've had a red "L" on the front and back, fashioned from insulation tape. While it did help her in her initial days, it soon became a magnet for rash users to honk and curse at us. They see a "L" and just assume that it is being driven slowly. It would be another matter altogether that we would actually be keeping up with the traffic's flow - far from holding it up. So off went the "L" signs from the car. The harassment has greatly reduced now.

I intend to graduate my wife onto manual transmission cars by taking her to the driving range at the IRT for starters. That remains to be done and seen.

I hope my bad karma from chickening out on my dad's learning is wiped away eventually. But then again, I know that I may just be a lousy teacher/guide. Whenever there's a high pressure situation (like the street dog that my wife encountered, for instance), I start calmly but unhelpfully saying useless words like "watch out" instead of "dog crossing from the right". Sometimes one just isn't cut out for doing certain things, like teaching others to drive.
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Old 11th June 2019, 11:52   #14
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Default re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

I compiled a list of pointers I've picked up over the years. A lot of them were taught (by my father), some learnt by observing others on the driver's seat. Some are lessons learnt from experience.

1. The first thing that my dad told me when he handed over the keys to me was - "Son, it is easy to drive fast. Learn to master how to balance the car in slow speeds and you would have learnt how to drive". I can't stress enough how these were pearls of wisdom and how they've helped me become the drive I've become today. Controlled and slow driving helps you avoid bumping into others in bumper to bumper traffic.

2. One of the biggest sources of anxiety for a new driver is to get stuck in traffic on an incline and its absolutely important to learn how to launch the vehicle in this situation - either a combination of hand brake and A pedal or for more mature drivers to keep the car static just by using the clutch and accelerator.

3. Changing gears at the right time - I can't count the number of drivers who have probably not been told in early years how to change the gear on time by "listening" to the sound of the engine. Numerous taxi drivers drive till 45 kmph on 2nd gear and I cringe when I see this. Care for the poor engine. Please learn to change gears on time and increase the life of your engine. Also, it is important to drive the car at the highest gear the current speed supports to increase fuel economy. Lot of drivers are not aware of this.

4. People who transition from riding a geared two wheeler to driving cars perhaps find the learning curve a bit less steep. They get into the game knowing that when you press the clutch, you need to get your foot off of the accelerator. If this is an option, it should be practiced by new drivers.

5. Knowing the length of your vehicle and understanding how to execute turns & U-turns so your rear wheel does not go over the kerb - very important point to learn.

6. Forming a habit to check the rear view mirros (all of them) in a few milliseconds to be aware of who's behind and how far and quickly taking your eyes back to looking ahead.

7. In traffic, learning to look a few cars ahead and be ready to react instead of fixing your eyes only on the car in front of yourself. Again, lot of people do not do this and end up hard braking and getting rear ended.

8. Not to stand/park on the opposite side right next to a U-turn. Even expert drivers do not practice this at times since they are often not aware about the consequences of doing this.

9. Not putting your hazard lights and standing on the road sides to take a call from the boss. I've seen this on Delhi roads and it drives me crazy. At times, this callous behavior leads to miles of traffic backing up. Please think about the consequences of your actions.

This is in no way an exhaustive list, but these are the top pointers I would teach a newbie if and when I am given the responsibility to teach someone to drive.
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Old 11th June 2019, 12:46   #15
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Default re: How does one teach a newbie to drive / ride safe?

There are some fantastic threads on Team BHP.

1) & the threads/articles within it

I'd recommend asking your wife / learner to go through them first and make a list of what they feel are important points.

I feel this will help them remember these points better, as compared to back seat driving which can be a little frustrating.

Start slow, first should be the basics - before making a move: how to adjust the mirrors & seating for optimum visibility, what do the switches mean & when to use them, etc.
A lot of this seems like common sense, but you will be surprised at how often they are ignored.

Once all of this is done, then you are good to hit the road. Start slow - within the compound to get a feel of the brakes, accelerator, clutch release point, etc. before you hit the road.
Start early morning, and take it from there. Don't talk much whilst driving but make observations (unless it is an emergency / close call), which should be conveyed at the end of the drive / in routine intervals while it is still fresh in their mind.
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