Tag Archives: driving instructors

WANTED – Female friendly driving instructors across the UK

We’re told it takes more lessons for young women to pass their driving test than young men on average.

Exceptions apply as ever.

An explanation for this might be research suggesting that females of all ages are more nervous than their male counterparts.

But the way I see it is that young women have fewer accidents than (most) young men so isn’t it a good thing to have more lessons, be cautious and take longer to become a better driver?

Regardless of age, I speak to a lot of women who suffer from a lack of driver confidence. Maybe they don’t drive much nowadays so it doesn’t come as naturally as it did. Or perhaps it’s because of our crowded roads and all too frequently reported incidents of road rage.

Many tell me they’re frightened about tackling motorways, driving a new (strange) car and they often struggle to concentrate at times – on a familiar route to work perhaps or after a bad night’s sleep?

Driving Instructors that understand women

This is why FOXY is recruiting a new Register of Driving Instructors that are sympathetic towards our gender perspective and who are ready, patient and willing to make us better drivers at the end of the day.

The theory is that if your Driving Instructor is measurably better than the rest you’ll likely need fewer lessons to pass and if it’s a more enjoyable time at the wheel, you’ll relax and have fun. Why shouldn’t learning to drive be fun as well as informative, whether it’s your first lessons, completing the PassPlus programme, taking your Advanced Motoring test or blacking up for a confidence or motorway driving refresher course.

So if you can recommend a genuinely female friendly Driving Instructor who’s getting things right for women as is, we’d be happy to FOXY Lady Approve them then introduce them to local lady drivers.

FOXY Lady Approved Driving Instructors

To be FOXY Lady Approved, Driving Instructors need to be approved by the Driver Vehicle and Standards Agency (DVSA) and follow the ADI/DVSA voluntary Code of Practice for starters. We then list additional credentials, the various courses they offer and female feedback. We want to know if the Instructor was punctual, friendly and a good teacher, for example. And whether the car was safe, clean and well-maintained? Marks out of 5 please from 1 as in woeful to 5 as in wonderful…

Finally, in exchange for feedback about any FOXY Lady Approved Driving Instructor, their female pupils can claim a free lifetime Online Member subscription to FOXY Lady Drivers Club as a thank you.

No, driving instructors don’t have to be female to be FOXY Lady Approved in fact this is another area to do with motoring where there are many more men doing this job than females. Which is where FOXY can help again – we want to raise awareness among women drivers that being a Driving Instructor is both a satisfying and meaningful career option. So motorists can have a gender choice when it comes to choosing a local Driving Instructor to suit their needs and expectations.

FOXY

For More Information

To recommend a genuinely female friendly Instructor (male or female) please email drivinginstructors@foxyladydrivers.com.

To see who and where the EARLYBIRD Instructors are on board.

To find out how to join us.

The future of technology for learner drivers

girl-in-red-car-mirrorRecognising the influencing role that technology plays in younger drivers lives, in particular, we asked Isabelle at miDrive to tell us about their new app and how it can help female learners become more confident drivers in a shorter period of time.

This is what Isabelle thinks about the future of learning to drive, and how you, as a female, can get more out of your driving lessons.
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Please explain why we need an app in this area Isabelle?

If you remember taking driving lessons, you’ll know that the road to getting your licence certainly isn’t a walk in the park. British citizens have been taking driving tests since 1935, and, apart from huge advances in the cars we drive, the actual process hasn’t changed much.

phone-learnOf course, everyone’s goal, when they start taking lessons, is to to get their driving licence as quickly as possible, but some of us take longer than others and it can be hard to understand why and what to do about it.

With this in mind, miDrive is a new iPhone app designed to take you from finding your driving instructor right through to passing your test, providing useful feedback, information and support which is what makes it different. The idea behind the app is that the process of learning to drive doesn’t have to be stressful and can – contrary to popular belief – actually be quite rewarding.

How might this help learner drivers get more out of their driving lessons?

If there’s one thing which fills many learner drivers with fear, it’s the thought of failure. Confidence issues can be really crippling on the road, and, as the data tell us, many females are more likely to suffer with self-doubt when it comes to getting behind the wheel.

Using GPS tracking, which is what miDrive does, learner drivers can track where they’ve driven in their lessons and learn from that experience, providing an accurate and shareable view of where they’ve been, what speed they’ve driven at and how far they’ve travelled.

Being able to take control of the learning process, and to have challenges and achievements set out in front of you, will not only give a serious boost of confidence, but it also helps drivers focus on the task at hand, keeping them on the right track; showing what to work on and particular individual strengths.

Does online learning make a real difference?

Yes it can. With learning resources readily available online, the learning period doesn’t have to be restricted to a couple of hours in the car each week. Learning to drive is becoming more about what you can do outside of your lessons as well as in them.

Research into gender differences tells us that whilst men are often happy to get in the driving seat and go, many young women need more preparation to give them that same level of confidence in the end.

Being able to find out what you need to know, when you need to know it is a luxury that – thanks to technology – we can all take advantage of now.

Can technology change the way we learn to drive?

As I see it, the driver training industry can’t ignore technology. Driving instructors are turning to technology to connect with students via social media, to find teaching aids and make use of theory test resources.

Aside from the tools available to driving instructors on the web, technology also affects learner drivers when it comes to the financial aspect of learning to drive. Telematics insurance allows learner and newly-qualified drivers to save a lot of money on their premiums, based on their individual driving behaviour rather than on age group statistics.

I think this is especially important for females since the introduction of last year’s Gender Directive. As women are no longer able to benefit from lower insurance premiums by virtue of their lesser gender risk, telematics technology is the only way to save serious money on your insurance.

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Thank you for explaining this Isabelle. This is an interesting development and we recognise that IT could help all women save money on the cost of their driving lessons by helping them become more confident drivers sooner.

Having said that, FOXY also believes that the fact many young women drivers take longer to pass their test (and spend more on driving lessons than many young men) may well explain why we are the lesser gender risk. Because we take the subject so much more seriously perhaps…

However we do agree that whilst the way we learn to drive might not have changed much over the years, the technology we make use of in the car and outside of driving lessons has come on in leaps and bounds. And that apps like miDrive can turn the driving test into an exciting experience rather than a terrifying hurdle to be overcome…

FOXY

Do driving instructors find genders different to teach?

guestblog

In light of recent research which suggests that women are much more likely to want to improve their driving skills, Izzy from miDrive.com takes a look at whether or not men and women are treated in the same way and require the same teaching techniques when learning to drive.

The AA have recently revealed how – when they offered 2,000 free driving lessons to already qualified drivers – only 22% of those who signed up were male. Does this suggest that men are inherently more confident than women when it comes to driving, or does it just mean they’re unwilling to improve?

Here we look at whether or not gender affects the way we learn, and ask a qualified driving instructor about his own experience of teaching both men and women.

Practical learners vs listeners

We may have already (sort of) dispelled the myth that men are better drivers than women, but the fact is that they tend to pass in fewer hours than women, suggesting that they’re more hands on in the driver’s seat.

Bernie Williams, a driving instructor at Kenley Driving School, draws upon his own experience:

“Guys normally have more natural ability when it comes to things such as manoeuvres as in bay parking, reversing and so on.”

But don’t worry girls, he also adds that girls tend to be better listeners and more patient whilst learning. Interestingly, Bernie also told us that – despite the boys skills at manoeuvres – his pass rate generally favours females.

Girl L plate1

This seems to support the idea that boys are more practical when it comes to driving, whilst the girls tend to be more focused on thinking through the task at hand.

It’s also worth noting that women have a higher pass rate for the theory test, whilst males have a higher pass rate for the practical test.

Not only does this add some weight to the idea that men are practical learners whilst women are more methodical, but it also suggests that they need to be taught in slightly different ways.

Unconfident vs over-confident

Females, broadly speaking, tend to be more wary when they get the behind the wheel, and, therefore, need more encouragement. Males, on the other hand, might be a bit too eager, and might even need to be reigned in a bit. Each approach has its own set of pros and cons.

Being wary, for example, means you’re more likely to take instruction from the professional instructor, but it also means that your lack of confidence could hold you back on the practical side of things. Being over-confident, however, might lead to the learner not taking the correct instruction or trying to progress beyond their current skill set. On the other hand, confidence can help a learner progress much more quickly in their lessons, as they’re not afraid to try new things like manoeuvres, driving at night or driving on a dual carriageway.

Turning the tables – male and female stereotypes

If we turn the question around, we can look at the reasons behind why some learners specifically choose a male or female driving instructor.

Many learners feel more comfortable learning with a female instructor, especially if they’re nervous about taking to the road. This might be due to females being seen as naturally more gentle and patient, but it’s also worth noting that many males, and, specifically, male driving instructors, also have these traits!

Likewise, learners who want to get straight to the point and learn quickly might feel that a male driving instructor is the best option. Again, many female driving instructors also have the traits necessary to get you on the road quickly.

Stereotypes, therefore, might be affecting the way we think about learning to drive before we’ve even reached the age of 17. As we saw when it came to deciding whether men or women were the best drivers, it’s down to every individual case.

Driving instructors have to tailor their teaching techniques to the individual, whether they’re male or female. Giving Bernie the final word here, he backs up this point, saying:

“At the end of the day, all pupils have different abilities. I have no preference whatsoever. They all pass their test in the end.”