Posted by: safedriver | September 9, 2011

Who taught you how to drive?

As a driving instructor with Young  Drivers of Canada, I often get new students who have been driving for a number of weeks prior to starting their driving lessons with me. I guess they wanted a head start, right? When I ask who they normally drive with at home, the answer often varies. Sometimes other students tell me their parents wouldn’t let them drive at all until they’ve had some driving time with a professional instructor. Each to their own I guess. Sometimes they’ll tell me some of their friends were taught by their parents. That leads me to ask this; who taught you how to drive?

I learned to drive by a professional instructor. I was a quick learner and only needed my learners permit for 4 weeks before I got my full license. This was WAY before any type of Graduated Licensing system. I was lucky though; I had a good instructor who cared. I was nervous at first, but he seemed to relax me quickly and make it fun. I try to do the same thing when I’m teaching any new driver. When you’re relaxed, you’ll
remember more. When you’re stressed, it blocks out the information.

I have friends who learned to drive by their parents; a common practice across our society. The problem with that picture is that they’ll probably pass on their bad habits to their kids. They also aren’t up to date with any new rules of the road and proper teaching techniques. Anyhow, I’ve heard the story a number of times of how they came home in tears because of what happened in the car. There’s always a strain between parents and teens, so why add to it when it comes to learning how to drive?

I had a student tell me they went out with a family friend to learn to drive. I guess that’s better than teens yelling at their mom or dad or parents yelling at the teens, but what would happen to the relationship if a collision, even minor, happened with the teen behind the wheel? I think the same can be said if it was an uncle or aunt teaching them how to drive.

I’ve also had students come to me who had been at another driving school and had a very negative experience. Their instructor would run their own personal errands during lessons, would constantly yell at them and would unnecessarily grab the steering wheel without warning or reason. I felt bad for those students. You would think that a professional would act professional, wouldn’t you?

What are your stories of learning to drive? Was it a positive experience or a negative experience? Were they a good teacher who knew a lot of information about driving, or someone who made it seem easy, but didn’t know as much as you thought? Share your stories here so we can all have a good laugh….or cry!



  1. My Mom taught me how to drive. I was lucky enough to have a huge front lawn and long driveway in the country to practice on. Then we took the next step on the 401 where I did not have to worry about the oncoming traffic and I did NOT have to drive as fast as the speed limit. Now that was in 1966 when I was 16 and the volume of traffic was no where near what it is today, so it would not work now with that plan.

    I then took drivers education at my highschool and this qualified for a lower insurance increase when I got my license for my parents.

    There’s no way my Dad would do it as he had an amazing temper and my Mom was kind but firm. The driver’s ed group helped with the formal rules of the road and driving in town.

    I would definitely recommend finding a huge parking lot to practice on a Sunday where there are no cars and then find some straight and wide country roads to start up on.

  2. A cop taught me how to drive and I was always worried if I went 1 over the limit he would give me a ticket. But he was with Young Drivers of Canada and taught me lot. I finished the classroom instruction before my 16th birthday had my license not long after. Accident free for 34 years now.

  3. My brother taught me how to drive… now he writes this blog….

    • Hey, I taught my brother how to drive…maybe it was you?

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