Learning to become the safest driver you can be is an important adventure that we all embark on at different points of our lives. Understanding that the relevant knowledge to be a safe and conscientious driver comes from a myriad of sources is equally as important as actually going out and receiving that information as well.
You can learn the rules of the road and some driving statistics to scare you straight from books and your parents can teach you what they've learned from their experience, but the reality is that the best technical driving training can only come from a professional.
While the main lessons learned from a professional driving instructor on your course towards safe driving will be in regards to the technical nature of driving, there are also a number of fringe benefits that can come from spending time with a professional.
1. Bonus Time - As we become more and more focused on safe driving we're demanding our learner and provisional drivers put in more and more hours behind the wheel before we'll let them take to the road by themselves. In New South Wales, for example, the current quota required is 120 hours of driving, however, prospective drivers can chop a sixth of this away with a professional driver. Each hour (up to the first 10) driven with a professional driver counts as three towards their log book in New South Wales, promoting the expert lessons.
2. Deal with Honest Feedback - You might find that driving with your parents elicits a lot of unwanted reactions rather than helpful feedback. In stark contrast, a professional driving instructor is being paid to be there and provide you with ways to improve your driving; they have nothing to gain by doing anything but help you improve your safe driving skills.
3. Confidence - Driving is as much about a healthy level of self-confidence as it is about learning the ins and outs of how the clutch works. Driving with parents or other relatives can put undue pressure on the driver as they aim to please them at every turn, but successfully passing a task with a driving instructor and being praised can instil a level of confidence that is appropriate for the road.
The reality of driving is that is a constant learning experience and that helpful information and resources can be found in a plethora of areas. Professional driving instructors are certainly one of those, and they should at least be given consideration when you or someone you know is making the leap into the work of safe driving.