Many youngsters take their driving test at the same time as they are studying for their `A’ levels. In theory the great majority of seventeen year olds are mature enough to be entrusted with a car.
So a number of driving instructors tend to emphasise the need for a driving plan. A basic driving plan would include:
What can be seen?
What can not be seen?
What may reasonably be expected to happen?
What can be seen is reasonably straight forward. The problem comes with what can not be seen. This is where driving defensively begins to make sense. What could lie around the bend? Will a high sided vehicle obstruct your view? Will two of your children break out into a pitched battle just as you are trying to over take a weaving bus? What happens when the third child in car unexpectedly turns round and screams at the battling two in the back seat?
I started thinking of this because there was a lot of traffic on the M25 while I was driving back from Salisbury this afternoon. I was in the slow lane when a large black MPV drove up beside me. We were only doing around fifteen miles an hour – so to be overtaken was no great feat on my part. The man driving the big black MPV was reading his newspaper. He took his eyes off the page to check why the traffic ahead was slowing down. He was reading a broad sheet so he needed to fold the page on the steering wheel while he was driving.
Now any good eleven year old will be able to run through some of the rules of the road with you while you are driving to the eleven plus examination.
It is no good looking at the map while you are driving to the Eleven Plus test centre.
Ensure that you always over take safely.
Try to avoid cutting in sharply at all stages of an overtaking manoeuvre.
Look, signal, manoeuvre. Look, signal, manoeuvre. Look, signal, manoeuvre.
So now we have some things to remember.
Make a plan of how to drive.
If you have to read while you are driving, try reading one of the papers with small pages.
Be thankful that your Eleven Plus child is not driving yet – so don’t promise a car if he or she passes. (You may be moved to offer one in just six years time!)