DVSA National Driving Syllabus, Unit 1: Preparing a vehicle and its occupants for a journey
This short article came to mind when I was reading some Facebook posts about ADIs asking about a syllabus for teaching people to drive and quickly realised that virtually every syllabus ADIs were talking about, only involved elements of the driving test and did not actually address safe driving for life. As driving instructors, we should be focusing on post-test experiences because these are essential in creating an atmosphere of safe driving for life.
For example, during driving lessons, encourage your pupils to think about factors involved in making a journey, asking themselves questions before they start: 'Am I fit to undertake the journey?' 'Have I taken medication that could affect my performance?' 'Am I tired or unwell?' 'Am I in the right mental state or am I emotionally upset and unable to focus?'
They may understand how the answers to these questions might affect their driving but would they act appropriately if they weren't well or would they decide to go anyway?
The National Driving Syllabus looks not only at how our physical condition can affect our driving but also how our emotional state will impact on our driving. Our physical and emotional states can be contributory causes of crashes.
Our pupils also need to consider the physical and emotional state of their passengers: if they are the designated driver, having four drunk and boisterous friends in the car would be extremely challenging for them - as for anyone but even more so for an inexperienced driver.
If we add into this mix the roadworthiness of the vehicle, we have all the ingredients of a late night crash involving young people. Do we as ADIs do enough in our training of new drivers to address what is most likely to make them crash?
You can find more information about the National Driving Syllabus mentioned here in this short article by following this link. I have taken a very short overview of the first unit which is 'preparing a vehicle and its occupants for a journey'
The best way to address this part of the Syllabus is to use coaching techniques as you will often be challenging peoples opinions and beliefs and your job is to influence their thinking. If you want to know more about coaching then contact Tri-Coaching Partnership and ask how we can help you. You can find our courses by following this link.