A Driving Instructor's Blog

I was on a lesson this morning with a pupil. Chinese girl, but she has a problem staying focused on things. Once her mind flips on to a different subject the one she was on previously is forgotten about. A good example would be coming up to a junction with traffic lights on red. If, say, an ambulance went through she’d forget the lights were on red as her mind would now be on the ambulance. Same thing happens if she makes a mistake – she’ll be driving perfectly then, for one reason or another, stall, veer towards/away from the kerb, etc., and she’ll be dwelling on that instead of what she should be doing next, so it all snowballs.

Well, we were doing the emergency stop. I raised my hand and said ‘STOP’ and she did it perfectly. All she needed to do now was put the handbrake on, slip it into neutral, then check her mirrors.

So what does she do? For some reason she just about climbed down into the floorwell to look at her feet. The fact we were doing the Emergency Stop exercise was completely forgotten. She even went back in for another look when I said ‘Hey, what are you doing?’

After I pulled her over – and it took what felt like 10 minutes to get moving again because she’d lost the thread completely – I managed to get her to explain: ‘I thought I’d broken my shoe’.

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