The reality is that many parents would struggle with the PDA if they attempted it today. This is because bad driving habits creep in over the years. Many parents are also unaware of changes to road rules that have occurred since they got their licence, there is a widespread misunderstanding of how to indicate at roundabouts, and many don’t come to a ‘complete stop’ at stop signs/lines.
Just take a look at the quality of drivers on Perth roads and it’s obvious that standards are seriously lacking across the board. Some of these bad drivers are parents of teenagers.
A lot of parents also teach their children to steer using an inefficient, shuffling push-pull style despite they themselves crossing their hands when turning corners and parking. This misguided belief which is held by many parents is due to an ‘urban myth’ that has been perpetuated for decades by parents, learners and driving instructors – some of whom were trained overseas under different rules. The official instruction in the “How to Pass Your Driving Assessment” booklet issue by the WA Department of Transport is:
“You do not have to use a special method of steering or using the gears but the method you use should help you operate the car safely.
- Steer with both hands unless you are operating the controls.
- Keep your hands on the outside of the steering wheel.
- Keep your hands in a position that allows you to adjust your steering if you need to do so.
- Do not completely cross your ARMS”.
While the system allows for parent instruction, it is very important for a learner to be taught correct habits from the outset. An accredited instructor understands the required standard for sitting and passing the PDA and can provide this initial input and help set up the learner driver for later success.