Hi, my name is Sarah Bruce and I’m the proud owner and operator of Drive Skills 4 Life.
I often get asked, ‘why did you become a driver trainer?’ At first, I thought it was a natural progression after working as a licence tester at Vic Roads back in 2012, but having thought back to my teenage years, I believe this moment in time was the catalyst for why I now try to help create safer drivers and families.
Back in 1984 I had three close friends, all happened to be boys, who were like my big brothers. One weekend, two of them were organising a trip to the snow for the weekend. I was asked to go, but I blew them off for another event. The weekend came and I was off doing my own thing, when I was walking home from a friend’s, my parents pulled over to give me a lift, which I thought was odd. We got home and they sat me down (which I thought I was in trouble) to be told David had been killed in a car accident driving home from the snow. Rod had survived but was bruised and heartbroken.
It shook my world to realise, that in one split second, my life had changed and that my life could very possibly have been lost if I had gone on this trip. Rod, myself and our third friend David (yes, two David’s) spent lots of time together in the coming weeks comforting each other and trying to support each other. But to this day, there is not one week that has gone by where I don’t think about David. It’s been 36 years since this happened and it still unnerves me. He left behind beautiful parents and a gorgeous twin brother who had cerebral palsy. All his parents could say, we’ll never be grandparents, we’ll never see him get married. He’ll never enjoy the thrill of marrying the future love of his life. I’ve felt all the emotions again just writing this.
So, since the inception of my business, my focus has been on my students gaining the skills to drive safely for life, not just to pass their test. All too often young people are taught by their parents, which can be helpful to a degree, but can also pass on those few small bad habits. As we get older, many of us have forgotten or let the basics of driving slip by, such as how to use your mirrors and being mindful of gaps, just to name a couple. So, it’s really important to have a trainer who is keenly aware of current road rules and criteria and pass on those great new habits. With my specially created programs, it’s all about repetition and variety. The last thing you want is to learn something quickly, then forget what you were taught by the next week. Parents are encouraged to attend as often as possible.
My lessons are offered in a nurturing, supportive and most importantly, calm environment. I understand there are some who are fearful, or suffer from anxiety, or are nervous learners who just need to take baby steps. Anxiety and mental health are something I have seen firsthand with a direct family member and have also undertaken some mental health training to support my clients. If that is you, don’t be afraid to reach out. Patience and compassion is what you will get. At Drive Skills 4 Life, the word ‘sorry’ is not allowed in my car. You have to make mistakes to learn.
How often have you been shown the ‘how’ of something, but not understood the ‘why’? I know I definitely have and it’s not conducive to lifelong learning. The most important advice I give to my students is, ‘it’s not a race’, and ‘patience is definitely a virtue’.
So, what’s stopping you from gaining your independence? Do you want to catch public transport or rely on others for the rest of your life, or do you want to be able to have choices and freedom and flexibility? Go on…take that first step!
Other bits about me…
Mum to two gorgeous young ladies
Wife/carer/domestic engineer of all things around the home
Follower of the might Saints and a lover of books and great company!
Certificate of Education Support, Certificate IV Business Admin, Diploma of Management, Cert IV Transport and Logistics, (driving instructor, manual and auto), Cert IV Training and Assessment, Certificate of Mental Health First Aid.