Responsibilities of a learner driver
We think it important to outline the roles and responsibilities you have as a learner driver. When people first begin the learning to drive process, the focus can often be on passing the driving test itself, but learning to drive is not just about doing your driving test; that comes later. Learning is just the first step in developing good, safe, life-long driving habits. It is important to remember that you have responsibilities as a learner driver. One of which is to get the most out of learning to drive. Your role in the learning to drive process is as important as that of your approved driving instructor, known as an ADI, and your sponsor. Therefore, it is important that you all work together so that you can become a safe and socially responsible driver.
Engage in the process, prepare for each lesson or practice session and analyse your progress to make sure you're progressing at a suitable pace for you. Everyone is different and will need slightly different training plans. Your ADI will develop plans to suit your own work or study timetable and individual learning style. The training plan will include lesson plans, which should each reflect the stage which you are at for each lesson. Talk to your ADI about these plans, ask to see them and discuss the details with them, so you both know where you are against your training plan, at all times.
Learning to drive and the EDT
First, let's look at your role in the learning to drive process. As a learner driver, your aim should be to develop the skills and habits required to be a life-long, safe, socially responsible and competent driver. It is important that you understand what you need to do in order to achieve this. The first step is to choose an ADI. The ADI is the person chosen, by you, to bring you through the formal learning to drive process, including the essential driver training program, known as EDT. To do this, you can check the register of approved driving instructors in your area on RSA.ie. There is no such charge for EDT lessons, as each ADI sets their own fees. Recommendations from friends and family might also prove useful in helping to make your choice. You can check out our review page for what our past pupils have said about us. Once you have found an ADI, ask them for advice on how to prepare for your first lesson. Ask him or her to explain the entire learning to drive process, including preparation for the EDT lessons. We recommend that you read that learner driver information booklet and the essential driver training information booklet to familiarise yourself with the entire course before you start.
Know what to expect as a learner
Before you start, be sure you understand how a typical learner driver goes through the process from start to finish. Learners need to be ready to undergo the EDT lessons and not everyone will progress at the same pace, so be guided by your ADI as to when you are ready to start the first or take the next EDT lesson. The next thing to do is to find a sponsor. A sponsor is someone who would play an active role on your journey to become a better, safer driver. This is typically someone who is either a friend or relative who has held their full driver license for at least two years and who'll give their own personal time to support you during the learning to drive process and to practice with you in-between lessons. This is an important role, so choose somebody that you feel comfortable with and that will take this role seriously. If you don't know anyone who can fill this role, you can, of course, use the services of an ADI, if required. Your sponsor will work closely with you and your ADI to ensure you get the practice and experience necessary for your next lesson. Therefore, it is important that you share the feedback given to you at the end of each lesson by your ADI with your sponsor. Ask your ADI to give you specific feedback that you can provide to your sponsor, as this will enable your sponsor to focus your practice on any problem areas and work with you to improve them before your next lesson.
Many learner drivers find it of benefit to invite the sponsors to join them during a lesson or lesson wrap-up, where the ADI tells the learner driver what to practice and how to prepare for the next lesson. The practice sessions with your sponsor, which are held in-between your lessons with your ADI, are an extremely important part of the learning to drive process. These practice sessions will give you an opportunity to build on what you have learned with your ADI and to work on areas you find challenging. As a learner driver, you must take responsibility for your progress in learning to drive.
Learn to reflect on your driving lesson progess
Getting a driver’s license is one life’s milestones, so it shouldn’t be treated lightly. Therefore, between lessons, reflect on your driving performance and progress and be honest with yourself about where you need further support or tuition. Record this in your logbook. Your ADI will give you your logbook at your first EDT lesson. Self-analysis is an important tool in the learning to drive process and it is your responsibility to give adequate time to this. This will help you to get the best value from your driving lessons. Those who self-analyse their own performance are better prepared and achieve the most out of every lesson. Ultimately, this can save you hundreds of euros.
At each lesson with your ADI, or during your practice sessions with your sponsor, make sure you take every opportunity to clarify any aspect of your driving skills, the rules of the road or the learning to drive process that you might be unsure of. Remember that they are here to help you and there are no stupid questions. You, your ADI, and your sponsor each have an equally important part to play in helping you have a successful and enjoyable learning to drive experience. The most important thing to remember is that this is the first step on a life-long journey of safe, socially responsible and enjoyable driving.