Your First Driving Lesson With A Professional: What To Expect

Education & Development Articles

The day you have been waiting years for has finally arrived: your first driving lesson with a professional instructor. Even if you've logged several hours on the road with your parents or another licensed driver, don't expect to skip the basics during your first professional lesson. If you're excited, nervous or just curious about what will happen during your first driving lesson with a professional instructor, here are a few things you can expect:

Meeting Your Instructor

One of the first experiences you will have during your lesson can also be the most nerve-racking: meeting your instructor. However, don't be afraid because your instructor has dealt with first-day jitters several times in the past. During this initial meeting, your instructor will ask you for your driving permit. You will need to have your driving permit on hand and show it to your instructor before you are allowed to begin your lesson.

Unless your parent or a family member drops you off at the lesson, your instructor will pick you up. Chances are you will be placed in the passenger's seat at first, especially if you're in a high-traffic area. Sitting in the passenger's seat first is a good idea because it will allow you to get familiar with the vehicle and the instructor before you get behind the wheel.

The Cockpit Drill

Once again, chances are you won't get behind the wheel right away. Instead, the driver will find an area that is less-congested where you can begin this lesson. You might also head back to the driving academy, where you will be provided with the rules and expectations of your instructor.

One of the first and most-critical aspects of driving safety you will be taught by your instructor during that first lesson is known as the cockpit drill. First, the instructor will hop out of the driver's seat and allow you to sit behind the wheel. Next, the instructor will go through a series of steps that you will be expected to take during your subsequent lessons.

During the cockpit drill, the instructor will ask you to ensure the doors are all secure and that everyone in the car is wearing their seatbelt. The instructor will then ask you to get into a comfortable and safe driving position and adjust your mirrors as needed.

According to Car and Driver, the Society of Automotive Engineering, or SAE, released a paper that detailed the proper way to adjust a vehicle's side mirrors. Basically, it's best to adjust the mirror until you can see the car behind you clearly, rather than the side of the car you're driving.

Don't worry if you're not exactly sure how to adjust your mirror. The instructor will help you with this critical step.

Hitting the Road

After going through the steps of the cockpit drill, the instructor will run through the car's controls and a few other basic procedures, including how to use the signal lights and how to correctly check your mirrors and blind spot.

Don't be surprised if you are next allowed to start the car and get out on the road. If you don't feel comfortable quite yet, don't worry. Your instructor will be with you the entire time. Additionally, your instructor will ask you to remain on side streets, in parking lots, or anywhere there isn't much traffic.

During this initial time behind the wheel, the instructor may ask you to pull over and step out of the driver's seat several times. Don't worry; you're not doing a bad job. Instead, the instructor will want to provide you with a few tips to help you drive more safely and effectively.

Your first lesson behind the wheel with a professional driving instructor can seem intimidating. However, before you get too worried, remember this is only the first lesson, and the instructor is there to help you learn the basics and get more comfortable behind the wheel.  


7 February 2017

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