Use of the horn:
One of the biggest dangers on back roads is someone crashing into you because they have pulled out of a side turning without looking your way. If you are approaching a junction and there is a car waiting to pull out in front of you, look at where the driver is looking. If they start to move AND are looking away from you - you are in immediate danger! (photo below)
If you are overtaking a parked (or moving) vehicle, you will be in the middle of the road. If there is a side turning on the right, you are extremely vulnerable to being hit by a vehicle emerging from that side turning. This is because most drivers when turning left at a junction look right, then look left as they emerge. If this happens they will see you as they hit you!
Be prepared: Cover the horn with your thumb in advance (or you won't react quickly enough) and - USE YOUR HORN - Make them look at you!
Be prepared to use the horn any time that you have to pass close to another car, and you are are unsure of what they are doing (photo below):
Use headlights carefully as a warning as they can be thought of as an invitation to pull out. Never use a headlight flash as a warning unless you are driving a police car. If someone flashes their headlights you cannot be sure what their intention is. If you think they are letting you out you can take the opportunity as long as you have made sure that it is safe from all directions - including from behind the car that has flashed. Remember - they may be flashing to their mate coming the other way - NOT you !
If someone does flash you out, and you think it may be safe, the best thing to do is to edge forward slightly. This will show them that you are considering their invitation. However - DO NOT go any further until you are absolutely sure that it is safe to do so.
Here are some testimonials from previous students:
"I learnt to drive with Alan and passed my test first time. Alan was patient and calm, even when i made squeaking noises. He never pushed me to try anything i wasn't ready for but also challenged me enough that i was progressing every week. His random expressions - "it's a clutch, not a foot rest" "lots of lovely mirrors" genuinely helped me to remember everything. As long as you can endure his jokes - "i'm just getting my binoculars so I can see the curb" - then i would recommend Alan to anyone" Willow Scarisbrook - Thundersley
"Alan was the exact kind of instructor I was looking for - local, reliable, available at the times I wanted and good value for money. Alan never rushed me on any of my lessons, and knew exactly how far to challenge me each time and increase my confidence.
I found Alan to be calm, chatty and very good at explaining things without being condescending. I found the website useful especially in preparation for my test. Alan prepared me so well for my test day, that I wasn't even nervous! I would happily recommend Alan to anyone thinking of driving lessons, and the trial lesson was a great idea!" Angela Borst - Rayleigh
"I passed first time with Alan about 6 years ago. Would definitely recommend" - Rachel Harle, Hawkwell
"i would definitely recommend to learn to drive with alan. Brilliant instructor. i managed to pass first time last week! thanks again" - Emily Leverington, Hockley
"alan is a great to learn with, i passed first time with him. He managed to explain each maneuver so that i could understand them easier, i enjoyed every lesson and recommend him to any new drivers in the hockley and rayleigh area" - Craig Vile, Hawkwell
"Even as a North American with nearly 7 years of previous driving experience I understood that I would need lessons to prepare for the practical driving exam. Over the course of our sessions Alan's manner of teaching and focus directly reflected the content and style of the exam. His advise and instruction is based on years of experience as an instructor but also driving a wide variety of vehicles and industries. Moreover his natural love of teaching, seemingly endless patience and eagerness for conversation create a comfortable learning environment.
Most impressively driving with Alan not only allowed me to pass my exam but also made me into a much better driver. Without exaggeration since finishing my driving lessons I have consistently been complimented on my driving by family and friends. Previously I would never have thought to take driving lessons unless I needed to pass the exam but now I can say that anyone who is looking to simply improve their driving, become more comfortable and safe on the road would do well to spend some time with Alan. Many thanks!" - Jacob, Rayleigh
"I just wanted to thank you for teaching my son Max so well. I really appreciate it, good teachers like you are rare, and you helped him pass first time which is a miracle! So thanks again" - Sam
"Before I started my driving lessons with Alan, I had someone else, who I didn't really learn anything from. When I started with Alan, he taught me how to pull away very easily! He makes you feel comfortable when you're driving. He teaches you all the manoeuvres in a simple way so they're very easy and quick to learn" - Nicola Skeels, Hockley
"Alan is a friendly and relaxed instructor. You can go at your own pace and concentrate on your weaknesses and improve your strengths. Alan is very well prepared and lessons are structured with variety" - Nicola Avert, Ashingdon
"Alan is calm, patient, reliable, and good at explaining things and easy to talk to." - Karen Benton, Rayleigh