Learning to drive is a difficult position to be in, but it can be just as difficult to teach someone to drive too. Either both parties are nervous that something will go wrong, or the new driver is wildly over confident — neither of which are good.
It’s just one reason why picking the right car can be so important. It will in no way alleviate all of the stress or teach you how to get over your driving anxiety, but it can certainly help.
Stick or Automatic
There’s a couple of ways to look at this. With stick, there’s a few more factors to consider than automatic. When you’re first learning the rules of the road, it can be difficult to remember to ease your foot off the clutch at just the right time when switching from second to third gear.
First gear is often the bane of any driver’s existence, as it requires a careful balancing of the pedals. Most new drivers are young and therefore pretty resilient, but stalling out in first gear on a hill with tons of cars honking behind can be traumatizing for anyone. On the other hand, stick also helps drivers stay more coordinated on the road, which ultimately helps them with multi-tasking in general.
It won’t seem difficult at all to have to check for traffic, adjust mirrors and signal at the same time once they’ve mastered the stick shift. Ultimately, it’s likely better to teach a kid to drive in automatic first, but for a smart, motivated and graceful kid, stick should be a breeze.
And in this case, it might be better to pick the smallest car you have. Small cars are good in tight spaces, and most drivers have to go through some type of manoeuvrability test to get their license. This is similar to parallel parking the car, and every driver knows how difficult it can be to park the larger tanks.
Again, learning with a big one will be more difficult, making parking pretty much anything else a snap, and may help you getting out of a packed parking lot. However, for the first few rounds out on the road, it might be best to go with the smaller ones.
Smooth and Steady
Pick a car that has lots of safety features, with side and front airbags if possible. These cars are smart for any driver, but new ones need all the help they can get. Accidents are common as they figure out how to handle a variety of situations, and it can really help to have a safe car that handles bumps, jerks and hard braking with ease.
The more steady and comfortable the car is, the more comfortable the new driver will be as they tackle one new lesson after the next. Whether they’re trying to change lanes on a crowded freeway or approaching a Yield sign, a safe car can give them the confidence needed to make their moves with confidence.
They don’t necessarily need the most advanced anti-collision software to warn them when they go into another lane, but if you have it, it’s not the worst thing.
The most important thing a novice driver can learn is how to be defensive. There are a lot of people on the road, and not all of them are making the right decisions.
No car can teach them to look out for their fellow man, but classes can help reinforce the good behaviors that save us from collisions every day. Use the New Driver sign in any car they’re operating to remind people behind them that they’re trying to get the hang of it.
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