Driving Tips

National Driving Academy blog covers items related to safe driving relevant to learner drivers and their families.

Addressing the hard hitting parent and learner driver questions with our New Ebook, “Learning to drive in Canberra”

Caitlin Kerr - Thursday, March 06, 2014

We’re pleased to announce we’ve just released a free Ebook to assist Canberra’s learner drivers and their parents with one of the most significant and potentially most life altering events, getting a driver’s licence.

The new Ebook, Learning to drive in Canberra, provides both parents and learners with some insights as they embark on the journey of becoming an independent driver.

Our director, Tony Commisso, who is also the local representative of NRMA Insurance and the President of the Australian Driver Trainers Association ACT Inc, decided to launch the Ebook due to his own personal experiences with teaching his children to drive.

"As a parent I was faced with the great uncertainty, anxiety and fear associated with my children obtaining a learner driver’s licence and subsequently their P plates. The reality was that until such time as my children reached the licensing age it was never a top of mind issue. However, once they were at that age, I realised that I was relatively unprepared, largely uninformed and the news reports of young driver accidents resonated in a way they had not done previously," Tony said.

Tony says there are many approaches to obtaining a driver’s licence - some learners choose to practice with family and friends and then take the test, others rely entirely on professional driver trainers.

Tony believes that neither approach is ideal. He says it’s important to ensure that the 12 to 15 months spent holding a learner driver’s licence should provide a wide, long and deep learning experience for the learner.

“From my experience it can be very effective to have professional driver training right up front, which develops basic skills and confidence, followed on by monthly lessons to ensure progressive and structure skills and attitudinal development," Tony said.

Tony also says it’s important for the new learner to have first spent a lot of time thinking like a driver from the passenger seat. This can be turned into fun activities so long as the driver is not distracted. Some passenger seat activities can include:

  • Practicing the road rules 
  • Thinking like a driver 
  • Judging distance 
  • Judging speed – yours and others’ 
  • Judging crash avoidance space 
  • Detecting hazards 
  • Developing X-Ray vision 
  • Steering with your eyes 
  • Checking that you can be seen

Tony thinks Emma Grey got it right when she wrote in hercanberra.com.au about her insights about teaching her daughter to drive and said “I want her learning from someone (qualified as an Accredited Driving Instructor), with the patience of a saint and a second brake and clutch in front of the passenger seat, who will show her every little step, set her on the right path from Day One and fail her as many times as it takes for her to be good enough…”

Our new Ebook is available now for FREE download here