Teaching new drivers can be ‘harrowing experience’ study says

Passing on new skills, memories of their own lessons account for discomfort

SAN ANTONIO – Learning to drive can be a scary experience, and not just for the person who’s learning. A new poll finds two out of three people surveyed said giving a driving lesson was scarier than learning to drive.

The poll, commissioned by the digital automotive marketplace Truecar and conducted by OnePoll, found a third of Americans have taught someone to drive and nine in ten of those people found it to be a harrowing experience.

Part of that discomfort may come from worries about teaching some needed skills. The study found the trickiest for people to pass on were parallel parking, changing lanes and merging onto the highway (12%).

In contrast, the biggest mistakes for new drivers were not checking mirrors, cutting tight corners and forgetting to use turn signals.

In other findings, half of the respondents confessed they would be afraid to get in the car with their teenaged selves.

And here’s why, the average person had five “close calls” that almost resulted in an accident. One in five did get into an accident while learning to drive and the same number had a crash that damaged the vehicle.

“Learning to drive can be a stressful experience for both the student and the teacher, but it’s definitely a memorable one. In fact, almost six in ten drivers over the age of 55 say they still remember the vehicle they learned to drive in,” said Wendy McMullin, Director of Consumer Insights at TrueCar in a statement.

Almost half of respondents learned to drive from their father, while a third said it was a friend. Around a quarter of people learning from a sibling, their mother or a driving instructor.

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