Practice your driving skills these school holidays

RACQ has encouraged learners and their supervisors to use the school holidays to build practical driving experience, rather than opting for online simulations growing in popularity.

The Courier Mail reported a new online program was simulating road conditions and teaching learners driving skills including how to negotiate intersections from the comfort of their homes.

RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said while online programs were a good way to test your knowledge, on road practice was crucial.

“Young drivers, aged 16 to 24, are 60 percent more likely to be involved in a serious crash, so it’s important when you’re learning you get range of experience in different traffic and road conditions so you’re prepared when you hit the road unsupervised,” Ms Hunter said.

“While technology and programs that help learners gain skills are great supplementary tools for mastering the art of driving, nothing can replace real on road experience. It’s about being prepared for the surprises and challenges of negotiating traffic, hazards and even the weather that can’t be easily simulated.

“Take advantage of the school holidays and even if you’re just popping to the shops, treat it as a lesson and an opportunity to work on new driving skills.”

Ms Hunter reminded parents and supervisors to stay calm while teaching and to lead by example.

“Our research shows 80 percent of learner drivers get stressed out behind the wheel when a supervisor yelled at them. So, keep your cool, be patient and remember they’re learning - driving is a skill that takes practice,” she said.

“Start out in a quiet area with not too much traffic and minimise distractions in the car, so the learner can concentrate.

“Pay attention and be a second pair of eyes and ears for your learner – talk to the learner about what you’re both seeing.” 

Ms Hunter said learners and their supervisors could access a free lesson with a professional driving instructor through the Keys2Drive program.

“This program ensures both the learner driver and their supervisor are able to brush up on their skills, get the most up to date information on road rules, as well as strategies to stay safe behind the wheel.”

To find out how to book your free lesson, visit www.keys2drive.com.au