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The bad habits of younger drivers

Many 17-year-olds had to rely on their parents for driving lessons during the pandemic.

When surveyed by the UK’s largest pre-17 driving school, Young Driver, it was revealed that 89 per cent of driving instructors say this forced reliance has led to new-coming motorists collecting a few bad habits.

Despite this, 98 per cent of the 150 instructors questioned still felt extra experience behind the wheel with a parent is important, although 67 per cent did say that parents should only teach alongside professional tuition. Instructors were asked to outline some of the habits that have been picked up by their pupils.

The 10 worst habits picked up by learner drivers over the course of the pandemic are as follows:

  1. Not following ‘mirror, signal, manoeuvre’ as a matter of course.
  2. Steering with one hand (palm) or crossing hands. (Neither will fail you your test as a one off, but it isn’t best practice to do them regularly as you have less control.)
  3. Not observing what is happening around them.
  4. Coasting.
  5. Speeding.
  6. Coming down through individual gears instead of block changing.
  7. Not creeping and peeping when exiting a junction.
  8. Riding the clutch.
  9. Impatience/aggression.
  10. Believing myths or out of date driving styles (e.g., you no longer need to hold the steering wheel in the 10-2 position, you don’t have to stop at all junctions and roundabouts and overuse of indicators can be frowned upon.)

Others mentioned by instructors included eating and drinking in the car, being too heavy on the gas, not checking blind spots, getting too close to the vehicle in front and having no regard or understanding of the highway code.

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