When learning to drive it can be extremely frustrating for both the student and the instructor when despite hours of trying, the student still struggles to master a skill.
Both student and instructor become agitated which can lead to more errors and increased frustration.
Quite often this situation is caused by one very simple misunderstanding in the learning process; the student is thinking Reactively instead of Proactively.
Reactively means simply the pupil is waiting for a situation to occur, then they're trying to deal with it when it's already gone wrong.
Proactively means the pupil is actively trying to anticipate any problems and is trying to avoid the problem before it occurs.
This situation not only occurs during normal driving but also on manoeuvres such as reversing around a corner. The pupil is waiting for it to go horribly wrong then trying to sort it, rather than anticipating what to do to keep the reverse under full control.
The main difference between a learner driver who thinks Proactively and one who thinks mainly Reactively is that the Reactive driver sees each incident as a separate event, whereas the Proactive driver will see incidents as part of a big overall picture. This means the Reactive driver focusses on one event meaning everything else gets overlooked, whereas the Proactive driver will likely be fully aware of the developing situation and is much more likely to be able to resolve it.
At SaddlersDrive we teach the pupil to think Proactively from lesson one. This involves techniques such as hazard anticipation and evaluating how to avoid situations developing or becoming worse.
Tom is a proactive driver
Stan is a reactive driver
Stan approaches a roundabout, he's no real plan of action approaching the roundabout this is because he's reactive, he enters the roundabout he's not sure where to go. He finds himself chopping lanes because he's trying to decide what to do mid-way around, in other words he's waiting for it to go wrong then trying to resolve the situation. Stan fails the test and the examiner correctly marks 'lane discipline' but really Stan's failed because his driving is reactive.
Tom approaches the same roundabout, but Tom's already planned what lane he's going to use, what speed and gear he's going to need and above all he knows where he's going. This is because Tom is proactive. Tom is also seeing the roundabout as an overall process rather than focussing on one individual part at a time. So Tom passes the test because his driving is proactive.