I am a Driving Standards Agency top-graded Grade A Instructor franchised by the AA driving school

Last updated ~ 8th April 2021




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colin storey
with the AA driving school
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If you and I are starting from scratch, we follow a dead simple approach.  Not every driving instructor follows the exact same path of tuition, so don’t be concerned but I know this system works for my pupils and I have been doing this for long enough with a high success rate of passes to know that.  For budget purposes, if you are average at picking things up, then you can expect us to be together for about 40 hours and hopefully, with about 20 hours or so practising with your other half or with mum or dad, for example, in between lessons towards at the end of the tuition.

Everything that you and I will be doing is covered in my little Driving Tuition Notes that you get a hard copy of and if you have a smart phone, then you will get a copy on that to make reference to in a quiet moment.

First of all, we don’t go onto the road at this stage because I cannot see the point and we don’t want to frighten you to death, do we? We go through the hand controls and foot controls and bits about the car that I  think you need to know about.  Then we get used to the principles of preparation, observation and moving away from the kerb, using the proper steering techniques along with the proper procedure for gear-changing.  From there, we get you out onto the road in a quiet area for you to practice the process.

Next, we go through “the system of car control” that leaves nothing to chance when dealing with hazards.  We introduce that in approaching and emerging from junctions, again in a quite area.

Next, we get to know the different types of traffic lights at junctions and pedestrian crossings, not forgetting the Zebra crossing.  You will have plenty of practice in recognising and dealing with that aspect of and around Blackpool.

Roundabouts is the next important topic and again there are plenty of those in the Blackpool area, real roundabouts and minis.  We tend to use Amounderness Way so there is the possibility of 60mph stretches of road with roundabouts nicely placed at intervals down that road plus we get the intricacies of the Bispham and Plymouth Road Roundabouts.

The most dangerous area of driving, in my humble opinion as a former cop, comes next in dealing with crossroads.  The numbers of accidents at crossroads, deary me!!! Here we go through the principles of dealing with the recognition of crossroads and also, meeting oncoming traffic, crossing traffic and overtaking. not moving traffic at this stage, simply loads of parked vehicles.

I put the five manoeuvres in the process at this stage because you are now familiar with clutch control and steering techniques and observations so the learning is relatively straight forward.  The are five manoeuvres that we get you familiar with although there is only one reversing manoeuvre on the test.  Reversing left and right from a major road into a minor road, the bay park exercise, the parallel park and the turn in the road exercise are the manoeuvres involved.  I like you to go through the lot of them although you will find that many instructors don’t teach the right reverse into a minor road.  Don’t forget, I am teaching you to drive safely for the rest of your life, not simply to pass the driving test.

Dual Carriageways and Country Lanes come next.  In country lanes around Kirkham and Ballam, we use the Advanced Driving and Police Roadcraft principle of the Limit Point. We used to end up at Lytham doing 70mph overtaking moving traffic until they have just dropped the maximum speed to 50mph but I still use it because its the easiest place to learn the overtaking of moving traffic, following the principles of the Overtaking Triangle.  It’s a good lesson this one.

Uphills, downhills, properly moving away safely from a kerb on a busy major road is now finalised and also the emergency stop which comes last in my book.  By now you are driving less like a learner so these principles are dead easy to follow and understand.  

In essence, now you have “read the book” with me on how to drive but there are rough edges yet that need to be smoothed out, so we go through everything now together but where you are now taking all the decisions. With another touch of Advanced Driving thrown in, I get you to consider making a commentary on what you are seeing all around you and that does improve your hazard perception greatly.  You build into the commentary the actions that you are going to be taking to deal with any hazards that might arise, remembering that a hazard is anything real or potential that might make you change speed or direction.

We practice this work together on the basis of mock tests to pick up some peculiarities in and around Thornton and Poulton’s one-way street system.  We also carry out every manoeuvre on every lesson. We also at this stage familiarise you with the Show Me Tell Me Questions that you have to go through on the test.

I sit there as the “examiner” and I nit-pick, in the nicest possible way of course, to ensure that you do follow the safe system of car control.  Once we can get though a couple of my typical test routes that I have drawn up and I cannot “fail” you, you know without me having to tell you that you now have the skills to pass the driving test.  I know I am not an examiner but ........

This is the point at which you book your practical driving test so we have a target date to work to.  Any rough edges are removed and in principle you should now be able to walk through the driving test because you know what is coming.  If you expect to get through the test, you have to want to do so.  You have to work hard to get the skills that you will get so if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

We will work at this together and I will give you all the guidance and support that you need to become a safe driver with hopefully the correct attitude for the rest of your life.

As for the Theory Test stuff is concerned, there is only one book that you have to get familiar with and that is the Highway Code.  You don’t even have to buy one if you have a smart phone as there is a Kindle Version that is free of charge.  We will work through elements of this together and you will become knowledgeable about certain “important” Rules of the Highway Code.  For the test though, the full knowledge will have to be your efforts alone.  As for the Hazard Perception stuff, we will being doing that from the first time that you get behind the wheel as it is part of our safe driving techniques.