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Learner drivers

(57 Posts)
GrammaH Thu 24-Aug-17 08:54:37

I was very pleased to see this morning that at long last, rural roads will be included in the driving test. We live 3 miles from the main A road up 3 separate minor roads in decreasing widths and standards and it is quite unbelievable the way some people drive along them. The 2 major problems are obviously excessive speeding and , perhaps more seriously, reversing issues. The number of people who, when confronted by a car coming from the opposite direction, either just sit tight and don't move at all or who start to back, meandering all over the road from bank to bank, is quite incredible. In this day & age, with parking sensors and rear view cameras, there's really no excuse - not that there was before! If you can't reverse, then you really shouldn't be driving, so let's have more of that in the test as well. What say you, fellow Gransnetters?

Imperfect27 Thu 24-Aug-17 09:06:47

Yes! Learners need exposure to a variety of driving hazards that they might then normally be expected to navigate. I learned to drive in a very busy area with narrow roads, one way systems, double parking, high street pedestrianised areas and the like as my norm, but not country lanes. I know ym learning included night driving - but then I learned in winter months, I'm also glad that motorway driving will be included. I did my pass plus and was very glad to have the instructor there for those next, mildly terrifying steps!

All that said, /I have avoided parallel parking whenever possible and realised recently that I hadn't had to do it for some eyars. However, /I needed to last week, - pleased with the result! PHEW!!!

MaizieD Thu 24-Aug-17 09:47:54

The more different experiences a learner driver gets, the better, I think. But how is this going to work for people learning and taking their tests in a large conurbation? Country roads aren't too easy to find in large cities.

The BBC news item about this that I read had a section focused on the danger to/from horses. I think that learner drivers should be made very aware of the dangers from, and vulnerability of, cyclists and horses (ridden and driven). There's too much of a 'the road belongs to the motor car' attitude around and too much ignorance of how to treat other road users who aren't in cars...

Lindylo Thu 24-Aug-17 09:51:20

Yes it's definitely a good idea to give learners exposure to different types of roads as it can come as quite a shock when you are let loose on the roads on your own. I can't see it being incorporated into the driving test though.

gillybob Thu 24-Aug-17 09:56:45

I share your concern for horses on the road MazieD as my young granddaughters and daughter in law all ride (often on the roads to get from field to field). It scares me to death thinking of cars, vans, buses blasting past them on country roads often doing 60mph+ . My DDiL tells me that bus drivers are by far the worst offenders for speeding past and not giving them room.

Imperfect27 Thu 24-Aug-17 10:05:25

Re lack of access to country roads for learners ... ultimately it all comes down to appropriate speeds. I had a lovely instructor who told me 'The speed limit is not a target!' That has always stayed with me. Drivers need to be told to apply common sense and really slowdown around blind corners and narrow lanes.

shysal Thu 24-Aug-17 10:32:59

I try to be a considerate and safe driver, but I am not a great reverser! The other week I came face to face with a bus on a windy lane with high walls at either side and the road being dug up. My foot was shaking on the pedals as I had to retreat down the hill and round a bend in full view of a bus load of passengers and several workmen. I managed OK but was not quick! I shall chose an alternative route in future.
I worry about DGS2 who has just passed his test and got a car. He lives in the country but tends to use the speed limit as a target. Hopefully he will learn by experience.

EEJit Thu 24-Aug-17 10:40:25

A sensible idea, better than learning how to follow a sat nav.

GrammaH Thu 24-Aug-17 10:46:32

Horses can be a very real hazard and there are many horse owners in our area. However, I have to say it's not always the drivers who are a problem to the horses ! Some riders don't help their cause by riding several abreast down the windy narrow lanes & don't always think of high viz jackets. Don't get me started on the' horse muck in the road 'subject! Re reversing skills - have a bit of a practice in a quiet supermarket car park in the evenings- It's something every driver should be able to do!

GrammaH Thu 24-Aug-17 10:49:05

Oh Yes, cyclists....a whole bunch taking up the entire lane so no one can get past...3 miles at 5mph...great!

Welshwife Thu 24-Aug-17 11:20:14

I think some of the problem with reversing is the height of the driver and also the height and position of the rear screen. I am about 5'3" and find with many newer models the back window is high it is difficult to get a really good view etc - I do do some reversing just using the mirrors but although we have the reversing sensors we do not have a camera.
One of my DGS in America passed his drivixng test a few weeks ago. They are allowed to begin driving at a younger age than here and as DS works for a big Auto company he has access to test tracks and at times the skid pan etc. So besides his normal lessons DGS also had some training on these facilities. They are not just allowed complete freedom on the roads when they have passed the test. He is allowed to take his sibling in the car or one friend for the ride to school. They are only allowed to drive till about 9/10 pm as well. The restrictions are gradually lifted.

Imperfect27 Thu 24-Aug-17 11:22:21

GrammaH I don't have any difficulty reversing, including in and out of tight car park spaces in supermarkets - only the parallel bit worries me because I don't want to risk scratching someone else's car. At the time I was learning, it always seemed to be the case that the car owner was watching anxiously from a window or appeared at their door. Can't say I blame them, but I think this has stayed with me!

glammanana Thu 24-Aug-17 11:48:06

I've always been able to park easily I was taught with a matchstick placed in the middle of the back windscreen and keep it central when reversing and after a few goes got it right,I even told my DGS the trick when he was learning and it worked for him.
I would like to see more people experienced and learners using their indicators so many people don't bother and leave you guessing which way they are going.

radicalnan Thu 24-Aug-17 11:54:28

I have to take my life in my hands to get out of my driveway which is on a bend in a small village, where drivers fly though in the mistaken belief apparently that no one lives here.I can of course listen for cars coming.............BUT the cyclists fly through almost silently, and the sights I have seen in lycra don't bear thinking about.

Morgana Thu 24-Aug-17 12:34:01

Wondering how those people who live many miles from a motorway will get that experience.

NanaandGrampy Thu 24-Aug-17 13:00:10

I have a concern from when I worked for the company that t(then) administered the driving theory test. The test was available in something over 70 languages and dialects and it always concerned me that is someone's grasp of English was so poor that they had to take a test in their native tongue how safe were they really on the roads?

In the 70's when I lived in Germany , I had to take a test and no quarter was given for not being a German speaker. I had to learn what everything meant. There was no question of me asking for the test to be presented in English .

( sorry slightly off topic I know ) smile

Sundancer123 Thu 24-Aug-17 13:03:47

Parking sensors and rear view cameras, if only!

Caro1954 Thu 24-Aug-17 13:08:04

I am not good at reversing as I have limited mobility in my neck and don't trust mirrors! So I take it very slowly and have only once scraped my car (on a wall) in full view of a busload of school children! I drive a lot on country roads and find people riding horses to be sensible and courteous, and grateful to courteous drivers. Cyclists, on the other hand, are a menace. And that Lycra, especially on the, ahem, not-so-young! Yuck!

lovebeigecardigans1955 Thu 24-Aug-17 13:46:59

It's a good idea - I learned to drive in Devon and so got plenty of practice with rural roads and there were some in my test. It's not just learners though.
I think a big problem is actually that some experienced drivers bomb along narrow lanes as though they own them, completely unaware that another vehicle may appear round the corner.
I've a good friend who regularly drives at around ten miles above the speed limit (very experienced driver and maybe over-confident) - she's got away with it so far. I always worry that one day her luck will run out.

HootyMcOwlface Thu 24-Aug-17 14:05:06

The speed limit is not a target I like that quote, i might use it soon. My daughter has recently passed and I think she drives a bit too fast. I was saying, "what's the rush, we're not late! The speed limit is not a compulsory speed just a maximum." I confess I am a nervous passenger!

devongirl Thu 24-Aug-17 14:09:05

Imperfect27 your post reminded me that in my DD's last year at school a classmate was killed when driving home along narrow country roads which were slick after rain; she had been going at the speed limit (40) and it seems she hadn't considered that the road conditions were not suitable, skidded on a corner and went into a ditch. Very sad, I felt at the time she may have thought the speed limit was a recommended rather than max speed.

Katek Thu 24-Aug-17 14:24:38

We live over 100 miles from a motorway-no chance whatsoever that our learners will get any experience!

Nanny27 Thu 24-Aug-17 14:58:51

I learnt to drive in Germany many (!) Years ago. We had to show competency merging on to, changing lanes and safely leaving a motorway. If you lived a long way from the autobahn, tough. If we wanted to pass our tests we had to make the effort.

Anya Thu 24-Aug-17 15:37:37

GrammaH as someone on this thread has already pointed out, the road is not only for cars and other motorised vehicles. Horses and cyclists have just as much rght to use it as motorists and are far more vulnerable.

Anya Thu 24-Aug-17 15:39:54

We have an issue, in our neck of the woods, with deer jumping hedges and landing on the road. It's especially dangerous at night. However there are signs warning of the danger but this doesn't appear to register with certain types.