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What do I need to do to do well here:

  1. Give directions that are clear and timely

If you are directing your client along the route, then ensure you give them well-timed and clear directions. For example ‘take the next road on the left’ may leave the client asking ‘So not this left? the next one?’ A better approach would be to change the wording from ‘next to ‘first’ (or second) and whenever possible add a reference point. For example ‘take the first road on the left, it’s just after the blue parked car’. In this way, your pupil has clear instruction and a visual focal point. Make sure you give the direction timely so that once they have processed the direction, they have time to manage their approach, a late direction can be detrimental to your client’s development as it could lead to a safety-critical situation since your pupil won’t have time to process the manoeuvre.

Consider the human factors of your particular client, left-right confusion as an example, where it’s common for a person to confuse lefts and rights whilst performing other tasks, affects around 20% of the population and is believed to be more common in left-handed people and females. I’m sure we’ve all had those moments where we’ve given the direction and the learner has turned the exact opposite way! Remedies include your pupil writing ‘L’ and ‘R’ on their hands or making ‘L’ shapes with their right hand, rephrasing the direction to perhaps ‘take the first road on my side/your side’ or ‘giving visual direction with your hands, using stickers in the car etc. There’s also an extremely effective technique to remedy reversal, involving your client tapping pressure points on their hands and under their nose, which has derived from Thought Field Therapy (TFT). This remedy is strangely, extremely successful!

In the link below, Diane Hall of ‘L of a way 2 pass’ explains the technique in a little more detail and gives us a simple demonstration of how your pupils can perform it.

How to stop muddling up left and right

While you can find more information on techniques to help both you and your pupil’s combat nerves here: 

Driving Test Nerves Course

Depending on the ability of your pupil, you may not give any directions at all. Allowing your pupil to plot their own route is an extremely important lesson that ventures from the lower levels of the GDE Matrix into the higher levels, particularly level 3: Goals and context of driving (the journey). In this way, your client not only have to focus on the control element of drive, but they are also having to learn to cope with making timely decisions for themselves as a driver. In this case, your level of support would be important to ensure the safety of the car and your client. It might be timely instructions that benefit your client in this scenario.

The DVSA NSDRT states we must:


6.4.1.4 give clear and timely instructions (such as when and where to start, stop or turn) make sure that the learner understands your instruction and if they do not, modify your instructions accordingly.

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