Taking your learner on the motorway can be nerve-wracking. Here are some tips for making it less stressful.

Plan the route in advance

Sit down with your learner before the practice session and map out your route. Having a good lesson plan in place can be a good way to ensure both of you feel confident and in control while driving on motorways.

Many learners find it hard to plan a route at first. Giving your learner a mental picture of where they are going at the start is important. It’ll also help you concentrate on their driving, rather than where you’re going next.

Start slow

By planning ahead, you’ll ensure that you don’t rush your learner into a level of driving they’re uncomfortable with.

  • Before you venture onto the motorway, start by taking your learner into 60–70km/h zones. Build their confidence at those speeds first.
  • On the motorway, start with travelling 80–90 km/h in the left lane. Don’t worry about the vehicles driving faster than you.
  • Gradually increase to 100km/h as your learner feels more comfortable. Reassure your learner that driving in fast traffic is demanding for everyone!

Practise in isolation

Plan out your practice sessions in a way that allows you to practice the various requirements of motorway driving separately.

Run your learner through each manoeuvre a couple of times to build their confidence.

Here are some ideas:

  • Practise entering and exiting the motorway by getting off and on at every exit and entrance you see between two places.
  • Practise changing lanes at low speeds (50–60km/h zones) first. Ask your learner to identify the traffic in each lane behind them. Get them to do shoulder checks both right and left without physically moving lanes.
  • Practise moving from one motorway lane to another, even if there are no other cars around. Get your learner used to the routines of checking mirrors, over their shoulder and signalling.