Driving lessons for adults and mature learners are really no different to lessons for anyone else.
If you have the idea that learning to drive is going to be harder because you’re older then get that idea out of your head right now!
Let’s look at some of the stereotypical things people say about learning to drive and how none of it is true!
Driving lessons for adults and mature learners
I have taught over 1,000 people to drive in the last 20 years and many of them have been older drivers.
People often have the idea that all learners are aged 17-24 and that everyone has learnt to drive by the age of 25. That simply isn’t true.
The average age for a learner driver is actually 17-35 nowadays and it’s not uncommon to have pupils in their late 30s to late 40s and beyond.
Not everyone learns to drive when they’re young and that’s fine.
Stereotypes and myths about driving lessons for adults
Here are some of the things people say about learning to drive when you’re older which simply aren’t true!
It takes longer to learn when you’re older
When I worked at a national driving school (many years ago thankfully!) I was told that the way you could tell how many hours it would take someone to learn was to double their age.
That means a 17-year-old would take 34 hours but a 40-year-old would take 80 hours.
That is utter nonsense!
Your age has nothing to do with how long it will take. You don’t suddenly turn into an uncoordinated mess when you hit 30. You don’t lose your mind and can’t tell left from right when you hit 40. These are all just conclusions that people jump to based on prejudice and false information.
I have taught people to drive in ages ranging from 17 to 74. Yes, there are differences but they’re not all negative.
For example, while an older person may be slower reacting they are better at avoiding the problem in the first place. Let’s take a look at that in more detail.
Younger drivers are better because they have faster reactions
While younger people may have faster reactions (though even that is debatable and a generalisation) the fact that they are reacting means they’re doing something wrong!
A good driver does not let something go wrong and then react to it to fix it. A good driver plans ahead, see things coming and takes action to avoid a dangerous situation in the first place.
Is it better to skid to a halt and avoid a crash by millimetres or to see the hazard developing and avoid it even becoming an issue?
Here’s an old video of mine which illustrates that point.
Older drivers can’t see as well
Your eyesight can be good or bad at any age.
I have met several people in their teens that failed the eyesight test I gave them before their first lesson and they’ve had to go and see an optician and get glasses or contact lenses.
Being older doesn’t automatically mean you are going to see less well than someone that is younger.
Older drivers are too cautious
It’s commonly said that older drivers are too cautious and timid.
Again, this is a generalisation! Rather than listening to theories, I go out into the real world and see things how they really are.
Yes, older drivers can be more cautious, but is being cautious a bad thing? Of course not.
To say that older people can’t drive as well as younger drivers is just stupid.
Age is just a number
Those are just some of the things I’ve heard very often and there are many more.
Age is something you should be proud of and not ashamed of. Older people have a wealth of knowledge and experience and a lot to offer the world.
Most driving test examiners are over 35 and they’re some of the safest drivers around.
Age discrimination is unacceptable and if you want to learn to drive then don’t let being older stop you.
Age is a gift that many don’t get to receive.