Mark Hall Momentum News

Once a fortnight we interview one of the Momentum driving team to learn more about them and get some top driving tips. 

Today we have Peter, one of our instructors from the Southampton area

Why did you want to become a driving instructor?

When I was younger, (and before a career in electronics) I considered becoming a school teacher. Being a little older and perhaps wiser, I decided I liked interaction with people, more than designing electronic gizmos.

How long have you been an instructor?

About 10 years.

What do you like most about teaching people to drive?

Everybody is absolutely different and so the challenge is to tailor lessons to work best for each individual .div>

What car do you use for teaching?

A Fiat Panda 1.2 active eco. Many learners apologise to Pandora rather than me, if they stall. (she goes by the name of Pandora).

What are the most common mistakes you see pupils make?

Letting go of the clutch as soon as the car moves. (Judder to a halt).
Not putting the clutch down when stopping. (Judder to a halt).
“Coasting” around corners.
Lack of observation during manoeuvres.
Lack of observation at roundabouts.
That’s probably enough for now!

What changes would you like to see made to the driving test, if any?

I like the new trial test, with a lot of independent driving with a GPS. It will also consider replacing the “reverse around a corner” and “turn in the road” manoeuvres with more realistic everyday moves, such as reversing out of a parking bay, or pulling up on the left or right before rejoining the flow of traffic. Probably more like reality.

What are your top 5 tips for learner drivers?

Don’t plan for your driving test, plan to drive for life.
If you make a mistake, learn from it and move on.
Wear comfortable / sensible shoes when driving, I doubt if I could drive very well in Ug boots or flip flops either.
Check your blind spot every time.
Don’t drive in anybody else’s blind spot, they may not be as observant as you are.

Anything else you’d like to add?

If you don’t know something, ask your instructor, don’t be embarrassed, even if you have asked umpteen times before. You need to understand why you are doing something, not just doing it because your instructor tells you to do it.
Lessons should be fun as well as a learning experience.
Longer lessons may be a brilliant way to learn, but we all need a break now and again. Bring a drink (non alcoholic :-), sandwich, fags etc.
If you want to have another go at something… a scary roundabout….hill starts…whatever, ask your instructor. Very often it isn’t so difficult next time.


Safe driving / learning,

If you’d like to get in touch with Peter, please visit the Southampton driving lessons page.