You are out at a social event, meeting new people and the topic of work or business comes up. I get a lot of commiserative pats on the back when I say I have a driving school. Images and stereotypes of overly perky or slightly obnoxious teens fill everyone’s heads and they say, “Wow! How do you spend all day teaching teenagers to drive? Doesn’t it make you nuts?”
And the answer is simply… No. It does not make me nuts and I actually don’t spend all day with teens-I teach a lot of adults.
“Adults who don’t drive?” you say, “are they from New York or something??” (A few)
When teaching adult driver education classes, there are times when you have the opportunity to not necessarily teach someone to drive, but to reteach them. Sometimes a person who has been behind the wheel all of their adult life needs to take a driving course. It can be for a reason as simple as moving to a part of the country where the road conditions are vastly different. An example would be someone who moves from a very dry climate with little to no rain to someplace like, well like Portland. We get a lot of rain-so if you live here and drive, you need to be good at handling wet conditions. Or they have moved here from a different country where conditions, regulations and what side of the road you drive on are different. (That last one is a tougher to overcome than you think!)
And that brings us to the other type of adult driver who signs up for a driving course-the one who has been involved in a car accident.
I have met quite a few adults who have lost their “driving nerve”. Generally they are good drivers with clean driving records who have recently been involved in an accident. Surprisingly the seriousness of the accident does not seem to have a direct correlation with the level of fear my students have. I have had students who are immensely lucky to have stepped away from their accident and others who had basically a fender bender. What I know is that no matter what it comes from, suddenly being afraid to drive can be, if left unchecked, a life altering phobia.
At Pacific Driver we have found that with a gentle approach and a good bit of confidence building we can get an adult diver back ”in the saddle” in relatively no time. It doesn’t always work and we are not therapists-but we are great driving instructors and if you have lost your nerve you don’t need to go to Oz to find it. Just come see us.