Learning to drive from the passenger seat

Even if you don’t yet have your L plates, or finding a supervisor for some practical experience is proving difficult, there is still some valuable learning by observation that can be undertaken from the passenger seat. Every time you sit in a car, it’s an opportunity to observe what the driver and other motorists on the road are doing. As good observation is one of the primary cornerstones of good driving, A Grade Driving School share some observation exercises for learner drivers that they can undertake whenever they are on the road.

1. Spotting potential hazards.

Training yourself to be a hazard detector can help you see hazards earlier, and minimise the risk of a crash. Count how many seconds to takes to reach the potential hazard once you’ve spotted them, and try and lengthen the time it takes for the vehicle reach the site of hazard once it has been spotted. Over time you can train yourself to spot hazards earlier, and determine what the appropriate reaction to them should be. Common hazards include:

Cyclists and pedestrians

Children in school zones


Animals and debris                                                    

2.Recite the Road Rules

Test your knowledge by reciting the rules for road signs, including taking note of speed limit changes and who has right of way at intersections. This can be out loud, but might be preferred for the driver if you do it silently. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and speak to the driver if there is a sign or manoeuvre that you are unsure of. Take our road sign test to check your knowledge.

3.Watching the Driver

Take note of when the driver slows down and speeds up, when they begin to turn, and if they check blind spots when merging and changing lanes. Assess csituations where things were missed or could have been done differently. Play the role of police and watch for bad driving habits from others on the road including following too closely, speeding up through orange lights, and improper judgement of gaps in traffic and signalling on round a bouts. Pay attention to other’s use of the brake. Is it engaged too suddenly or too late?

4. Watch the speeds

Part of good driving is being able to judge what speed you are travelling at without always referring to the speedometer. Sitting where you can see the speedo, look ahead several cars ahead of you to count how long it takes to arrive at that point and take a guess at how fast the vehicle was travelling. Then check the speedo to see how close you were.

When the car speeds up or slows down guess the speed and check the speedo to see how close your judgement was. Overtime you accuracy of judging the correct speed will become much easier.

When you’re ready to take the reins (or the wheel in this case) call A Grade Driving School for comprehensive driving lessons that help to make all learners including YOU a competent and confident driver.

Call Michael at A Grade Driving School on 1300 885 585

Comments are closed.