15: Independence; the transfer of responsibility

Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

Unit 15: Independence; the transfer of responsibility

Research Material:
The Driving Instructor’s Handbook

This is the goal we aim for. To see a customer approach an uphill Give Way, and know that they will be able to find the bite in first, observe and pull smoothly and safely away if it is clear is a nice moment! However, remember that in between lessons, things can be forgotten, confidence can lead to recklessness, and under pressure brains don’t always work so well, so never be afraid to swing back to prompted if you’ve noticed problems creeping in.
Unfortunately, even drivers approaching test standards will put you in dangerous situations sometimes, so be prepared under these circumstances to swing your instruction straight back to guided. Simple, clear firm guided instruction should be able to get you out of most situations without any need for use of the dual controls.

Discussion Points:
Recognising independence

Praise and encouragement

Testing independence:
Was it true independence with a thought process?
Did they just get away with it?
How can you tell? – ‘What if’ questions

Allowing independence within other levels of instruction:
Big picture guidance with small picture independence

Your customer now wants to move off on their own, and you know they have remembered the majority of what they have been taught. It is up to you to observe what they are doing, and if you see that something has been missed out, remind them in a way which reminds them of their own knowledge, and allows them to keep responsibility for what they are doing.

You and your customer both feel comfortable with their responsibility for moving off, and you don’t need to instruct during the exercise normally, but in heavier traffic and on hills your customer starts to have trouble. Try to swing the instruction back to a point where it keeps responsibility with the customer, but allows them to safely move off.

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