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Being the co-driver. <breathes>

(27 Posts)
Polonium Sun 31-Aug-14 20:31:26

My 18 year old son has his driving test next week. He's had more than sixty driving lessons … possibly more than eighty. shock His driving instructor said he's not quite ready for his test but has been unable to fit in more lessons, he has only been able to do one hour slot a week. Son is off to uni in 3 weeks (he won't need a car so it doesn't matter if he fails) but it will be difficult for him to restart driving lessons.

Anyway, I thought I'd take matters into my own hands by insuring our little car for him so he can do masses of driving (with me as his driving companion) in preparation for next week's test and get him to take his test in our little car.

I had no idea it would be so hard. Does anyone have any tips? I'm ordinarily a calm person but being his co-driver is making me feel shouty.
Does anyone have any tips? We've done about 10 hours so far. And plan to do at lest another 10 hours before the test.

Gymbob Sun 31-Aug-14 21:17:07

and how do you get on together in the same car?

ChillySundays Sun 31-Aug-14 21:45:23

I am bit amazed that DS is taking test if instructor says he's not quite ready. My DD's instructor started off by saying she needed to be practising inbetween lessons and she didn't put in for her test until he said to.
My DD wasn't too bad driving so I only needed to get shouty a few times. Are you being too nervous? Is there someone else to go with him instead?

PurpleWithRed Sun 31-Aug-14 21:48:43

60-80 lessons???? and he's still not ready????

Personally I'd cancel the test and wait a few years till he's more keen. This will also save your sanity.

offtoseethewizard64 Sun 31-Aug-14 22:01:12

That sounds like a lot of lessons OP. Is he really that bad at driving - in which case I'm not surprised you are shouty and if he is still doing things that cause you to shout after all those lessons then I would say he's not ready to take his test.
My DS has just passed his test (2nd Time - unlucky mistake the 1st time) and had about 25 lessons with an instructor and some driving in our car after he had had a few lessons with the instructor. His instructor even encourages parents to sit in on a lesson or 2 to see how/what they are teaching - as some things have change since we passed our test. I was nervous the 1st time I went out with DS in our car and although I am normally a shouty person in the house, his driving after a few lessons did not give me cause to yell at him.
What is it that your DS is doing that is causing you to shout?

munchkin2902 Sun 31-Aug-14 22:07:06

Not helpful but this reminds me of my first driving lesson with my dad - I drove over the kerb (spiky rocks on a moorland road) and ended up flattening both left hand side tyres on his company car. He got very very shouty shock

TeaAndALemonTart Sun 31-Aug-14 22:10:11

That is a huge amount of lessons, have they all been with the same instructor?

scousadelic Sun 31-Aug-14 22:10:43

I'd be wondering if the instructor was good enough if he can't get him to test standard in 60-80 lessons. I'm really shocked at that!

My DS had about 15 lessons before his first test which he failed, he then did some practice with DH and I and had a few more lessons before his second one which he passed

DD probably had more lessons but they were shorter (she had a retired instructor who would pick her up in her lunch hour or free period at college for the odd quarter or half hour practice) Nowhere near 60 though and she passed first time

I would ask to sit in and see what or who the problem is

Polonium Sun 31-Aug-14 22:11:31

I don't feel unsafe with him. He's a good driver. But lacking in confidence. And today, while practising the reverse around the corner manoeuvre, he asked if it would be OK if, during his test, he got out of the car and walked around the car to adjust the offside mirror, then got back in the car did the manoeuvre, and walked round and adjusted it back again. My eyebrows have had some exercise today, I can tell you.

thenightsky Sun 31-Aug-14 22:12:51

That's a lot of lessons OP shock

DS passed first time after 25 to 30 lessons and no extra driving with me or DH.

I'd be changing instructors now!

Polonium Sun 31-Aug-14 22:16:04

I'm a bit cross with the instructor as we told him ages (almost 2 years) ago that DS wanted to have his driving under his belt before going off to uni. And we asked for more than once weekly lessons or at least double weekly lessons to speed it up, especially last summer. Grr.

Heyho111 Sun 31-Aug-14 23:25:20

I think the instructor isn't doing his job properly if it's taken that many lessons.
I also have a problem about kids learning to drive before uni. They pass their test , go to uni , then don't drive for 3 years. They come out of uni get a job buy a car and start driving. How's that safe.

Travelledtheworld Sun 31-Aug-14 23:56:37

I failed my driving test 4 times. I was brought up on a farm had been driving in the fields for years but I just couldn't cope with driving in traffic.
So at 19 I gave up and had a break.

At 20 I had more lessons while at Uni. The test route was along the same streets I rode my bicycle to classes. I could have done it with my eyes closed and I passed with flying colours.

He needs more time and practice !

Polonium Mon 01-Sep-14 00:13:37

Well the test is booked for next week. I can take him out for 3 or even 4 hours each day (in hour chunks) until his test. That's a lot of practise.

I think he'll pass if he stops bing so under confident about it.

Heyho - I think the instructor is ridiculous. He told DS1 he was nowhere near ready after 30 lessons but DS1 put in for his test and he passed first time.

scousadelic Mon 01-Sep-14 09:01:19

...yet you still used him again for DS2? confused

You've probably paid up his retirement fund if he's done this with two of them!

RiverTam Mon 01-Sep-14 09:07:58

if he's off to uni and won't have a car, is there any point in him taking his test now and you insuring him on your car?

scousadelic Mon 01-Sep-14 09:14:02

Tam and Heyho I think there is a point in trying to do this now as once he has passed he will not have to do go through all this again.

Both of mine learned before uni. DD drove to college for most of her last year so got some experience but DS passed only a few months before leaving for uni (with no car). We did make both of them come out with DH or I for a quick practice before letting them out in the hols and we just insured for while they were home, not while away at uni

TryingNotToLaugh Mon 01-Sep-14 09:29:19

How are you planning on spending the practise time you have? Instead of practising for the test, how about just letting him drive. If you have 3 to 4 hours a day, pick a destination 1.5 hrs away and just let him drive there and back. Have a bit of lunch/shopping/cinema etc inbetween.

My mum did this with me after failing my first test and it really helped boost my confidence. I could drive, I just needed to stop thinking about it all so much.

Polonium Mon 01-Sep-14 09:44:54

TryingNotToLaugh - thank you, that's a great idea. The problem is he gets very tired as he concentrates so hard. So after about an hour and a bit he is noticeably flagging. I think if he drives through that barrier it will all become much more fluid and instinctive <hopeful>.

Scousadelic - well Ds1 passed first time after 30 many lessons so I didn't give it too much thought and thought perhaps he just underestimated his driving. He advertises as having a 99% pass rate. So I think he doesn't count his students' tests that he doesn't agree with. tee hee

specialsubject Mon 01-Sep-14 10:04:33

as an instructor (not for driving) I have to say that very occasionally you do come across the unteachable. If he still thinks he can get out of the car after all those lessons he is either that or VERY hard of listening.

good news is that he will grow and learn. So my suggestion is cut losses now, cancel test and try again in a few years when he is a little more connected.

specialsubject Mon 01-Sep-14 10:05:05

sorry - obviously he can get out of the car, but not to adjust the mirror in mid-manoeuvre!

Polonium Mon 01-Sep-14 10:45:24

Special subject - he isn't hard of hearing nor is he unteachable. He is going ahead with the test.

Annietheacrobat Mon 01-Sep-14 12:15:24

I don't see why you need to take him out for 3-4 hour stints. That 's a long time to concentrate. Maybe get him to drive somewhere around 45 mins away.

I bet his driving is fine and your instructor is milking you!

BTW am dreading this stage with my daughters. I'm a terrible passenger . Also didn't 'to help that I managed to drive into a wall when I went out with my mum for the first time.

sashh Mon 01-Sep-14 12:46:00

three things

1) if you are only used to being the driver you will think he is too far in to the kerb

2) when you say stop - he needs to stop. You have to be able to trust him on this.

3) make him promise never to just 'go for it' if he isn't entirely sure he can get out of a junction etc He has to wait until he can see.

I didn't do this before teaching a friend, she thought stop meant slow down and when she couldn't see out of a junction just set off, we were narrowly missed.

Since then I brought in the rules she has been fine.

4) He should be able to do this, get him to give you a commentary, it shoudl go along the lines of. "approaching a zebra, no one waiting but kids near by so be ready to stop, Ok now coming up to a bus stop, is there a bus near? Is one behind me? People at the bus stop, ok sign now change of speed limit etc etc

Polonium Mon 01-Sep-14 14:32:35

We went out this morning for about an hour and a half. His driving was amazing. I felt entirely safe and only very rarely had to comment. He stalled once on a busy junction which was entirely down to being rattled by a big jumble of traffic. It's the worst junction in St Albans and I took him there on purpose. We are going back there this afternoon.

He's ready for his test. He has very good road awareness and anticipates other drivers' needs well. He just panics a bit because he thinks people are being impatient with him if he's taking his time. We've all been there.

Sssh I think the running commentary idea is excellent. I'll make him do that this afternoon. We are doing an hour this afternoon. ANd a further hour this evening. We are all (the whole family) going out for an early dinner and he can drive me a circuitous route there and drive me home again.

I appreciate all the help.

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