You may not believe it, but most students who go to driving schools or institutes for driving lessons commit simple mistakes when meeting their driving instructor.

In this article, I will attempt to highlight 7 of the common mistakes which all new driving students usually make.

1) Not wearing shoes.

To wear slippers and not shoes is one of the most common mistakes made by most students. Road Transport Department rules and regulations insist that students should only wear shoes and not slippers.

I have yet to come across incident of the authorities ever stopping a driving school vehicle and imposing stern actions against it. Whatever it is, driving school instructors should always, as they say, “Be prepared” for such eventualities to happen.

What about ladies who wear high heels while coming for their driving lessons? Are such shoes ever allowed or encouraged? The answer to the above question is an emphatic “No, no”. It is not only not encouraged at all, it is in fact not to be allowed in the first place.

2) Not wearing seat belts.

Most students who take up driving lessons comprises of young drivers nowadays. These students are usually inexperienced and some have never driven cars before.

These students, due to the fact that they seldom drive, tend to forget the wearing of seat belts. But not wearing a seat belt is in fact a RM300 fine under the Akta Pengangkutan Jalan 1987.

To avoid being caught for such an offense, the driving instructor is therefore reminded to see to it that before moving off, students wear or put on their seat belts before beginning a driving lesson.

Assuming, a student forgets to wear his or her seat belt and is stopped by either the J.P.J. or the police, who then is responsible? The instructor or the student? Who then pays or settles the fine imposed?

Thinking about this portion deeply, the instructor is paid for instructing his students. In this respect, it is therefore the instructor who is at fault. It is he who has to pay for the mistake the student commits.

3) Not ensuring that no cars or vehicles are approaching from the right or back before driving off.

The above is a very common mistake committed by most new students. They tend not to ensure that cars or vehicles are approaching from either the back or from the right before taking off. Accidents can very easily happen if undue care is not taken.

New students are normally forgetful over such things. Therefore, the driving instructor is advised to see to it their students whom they are instructing make it a point to see that no vehicles are approaching from the right or back before moving off.

4) Not releasing the handbrake before driving off.

Not releasing the handbrake is another common mistake made by students. They fail to remember that before a vehicle moves off, the handbrakes have to be released. So, driving instructors are therefore advised, make sure this important item of a vehicle is down before the student and the instructor move off.

In short, a good instructor should always be on the lookout and making sure the student make it a point to release the handbrake before moving off.

5) Forgetting to step on the clutch when stopping.

To stop a vehicle requires the clutch being applied. Failure to do the above will result in a vehicle’s engine stalling or dying off.

As most students are new and not too well versed with this requirement, make it a point to remind students that they have to remember to step on the clutch should they intend to stop. Only when students have learnt enough lessons will they be able to remember stepping on the clutch when they wish to stop.

6) Not closing the door tightly after entering a car.

I observe very often students on entering a car fail to close the door tight enough. This results in the cabin light lightening up, which indicates that the doors are not shut properly. New students will not be aware of this mistake. Students will therefore have to be told of their mistakes over and over again.

7) Trying to push the car into first gear while the car is still moving.

As a driver, are you aware that it is wrong to push the car or vehicle into first gear whist it is still moving? Some students, due to their ignorance, tend to do this whilst they are driving.

A student should be told not to attempt pushing or engaging a car into gear one should it be still in motion. Doing this will eventually spoilt the gear system of a vehicle.

The driving instructor should possess the responsibility of advising students that they should only resort to pushing the gears into 1st gear when the car or vehicle is at a dead stop or stationary.

The above are 7 common mistakes which new students commit when they come for their driving lessons. As a responsible driving instructor, it is your duty to see to it that no such mistakes are committed.

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