Can I do that when learning to drive?
Throughout the year, I constantly get questions from parents, supervising drivers and from learners asking,”Can I do that when learning to drive?” These are all reasonable questions so, for my January blog,I thought I would answer some of them. Still don’t see your question answered? Send me an email via the website and I will answer it for you.
What’s the total hours I can drive in one sitting?
- Everyone’s learning abilities are different. As a golden rule, if you are still a beginner with say less than 20-30 hours, the general rule is and 30-90 minutes, depending on where you are driving. If you’re at more than 30 hours and have been exposed to freeways and have started doing lane changes the correct way and feel comfortable without feeling fatigued, you can generally do at least two hours without a break. But, in saying that as mentioned above, everyone is different. Some get tired after one hour, some get tired after three. The most important thing is to be guided by how your learner is feeling. Don’t be afraid to speak up and say you’re tired. Don’t be afraid to encourage your learner to admit when they’re tired.
Can I use my mobile phone whilst supervising a learner driver?
- The official rule is yes you can use a mobile phone whilst supervising a learner driver. But, during the early stages of learning it is vital the learner has your full attention to ensure everyone stays safe. Also, if you are to set a good example to your learner, the correct answer should be no. As we know, it is easy to become distracted and if a learner is struggling, and you’re on the phone to someone, panic and anxiety can set in, resulting in an accident.
Can I carry other passengers whilst I’m learning to drive?
- Yes, you can. As long as the supervising driver carries a full Australian licence, you can have as many passengers as seatbelts in your car. Got a seven-seater? You can carry five passengers, as well as yourself and the learner without any issues. Just remind your passengers to be respectful of the learner and be patient.
Can I drive in bare feet?
- Yes, you can. It is not illegal to drive in bare feet. As we know, with long Summer days ahead of us and for those lucky enough to be going to the beach shoes and socks don’t really get a look in. I highly discourage people from driving in thongs as they can get tangled up in pedals whilst learning, so slip the thongs off and go bare foot.
What happens if I don’t want to drive but Mum or Dad insist?
- Whilst on your L’s, driving every day isn’t a requirement. We all know that some days we wake up feeling crap and just don’t want to do anything. Whilst it’s important to be able to drive during these moments, in the early days, it’s quite ok to say no. But as you gradually increase your hours and go beyond say, 60+ hours, it’s important to drive at all times of the day or night, regardless of your mood. Because as adults will tell you, there’s times we feel yuck too but have to drive to work, drive other siblings around and general errands.
What do I do if I’ve made a mistake and things get tense in the car?
- The most important things to remember is yes, you are going to make mistakes. That’s why 120 hours of driving is required. Before your driving journey, have a casual discussion with your supervising drivers and make it clear, if either of you feel tense or wish to terminate the drive, that’s ok. Pull over where safe and change drivers. Anger within the vehicle is not a good idea. Whatever happened, try to let it go.
Do I need to be double zero (alcohol level) whilst supervising a driver?
- No, you don’t. Just ensure you are under .05 if you have had a couple.
What happens if I misplace or lose my learners permit whilst on holidays?
Unfortunately, you cannot drive. The only way you can continue to drive as a learner driver is by going into a Vic Roads service centre and pay for a replacement. You cannot use a receipt from a phone or online replacement purchase. You will be issued with a paper replacement in the meantime until your new licence card arrives. The cost would be $24.00. A good way to always remember it is to just leave it in your wallet or purse. You don’t need to remove it from these to drive.
If I drive interstate as a learner, must I observe their speed limits?
No, you observe the signed speed limits. As a Victorian learner, you are permitted to follow speed limits just like in Victoria. For example, in NSW, learners and P plates are restricted to 90 km/h, but a Victorian learner and driver in NSW can do the speed that is signed, say 100 on freeways.
So, there you have it. I hope I’ve been able to allay some fears going forward into the new year. If you have any further questions that you cannot find under the FAQ section of my website, drop me a line at the bottom of this blog and I will clarify whatever it is.
If you’re lucky enough to be on holidays at the moment, enjoy. If not, that’s ok too. Some of us have to keep the wheels turning in life.
Until next time, Happy New Year, Sarah