Have patience with learner drivers on the road and help them instead of hoot

We’ve all been there at some point in our lives where we’re learning something new for the first time. Emotions like nervousness and excitement are all mixed into one and that is exactly what many people experience when starting to drive for the first time.

You know when someone is a learner when there is a bold lettered ‘L’ stuck to the rear window – either that or they are driving really slow in front of you. This means they are either in the process of a lesson with a driving school or being taken on the road by mom or dad. The fact of the matter is that learner drivers will always be a part of the road and you should adjust your driving according to the situation.

Most learner drivers are already so nervous about making a mistake (stalling the engine, grinding a gear or hitting a kerb), added to the fact that they also have to share the road with other (sometimes not so friendly) motorists.

Gumtree, with the assistance of MasterDrive, lists a couple of tips for driving with a learner driver:

  • Increase your following distance to at least double what you normally would
  • As soon as safety allows, move around the learner driver
  • Be patient. If a learner takes longer to cross an intersection or to do something you would do much faster, do not get frustrated but rather allow them to take as long as they need without pressurizing them by hooting or driving too close.
  • Do not be aggressive. Do not let your frustration get the better of you and, consequently, make reckless decisions. If you get annoyed with how long a learner driver might take to cross an intersection, and you drive around them the chances of a collision increase greatly and while you may have the skill to take corrective action, they certainly do not.
  • Do not make assumptions. While one should never assume a driver will do what they are supposed to do, it is particularly important not to do this with a learner. For example, if you move around a learner and you have space to put an extra lane between yourselves, rather do that than assume that the learner will check their blind spot.

Now that you’ve got the knowledge, it’s time to shop! Head to gumtree.co.za or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android) and don’t forget to use your location settings to find local automotive vehicle information close to home.

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