Back To Work
Most instructors and students were extremely happy to restart driving lessons in July. We are all living in a new world and driving lessons have not been exempt from the new precautions we are all expected to be taking. As an instructor I am acutely aware that doing my job is amongst the higher risk categories as all of our teaching is done in close proximity to our customers over a long period of time.
We of course are not on the front line in the fight against Covid-19 and do not wish to compare what we do to the day to day dedication and bravery all of our NHS staff. They have had to endure much more on a daily basis since this crisis started. I for one am now in even more awe of all NHS staff for being able to do their jobs for hours on end wearing their PPE. I am making sure both myself and my students are wearing masks during lessons but we have found that wearing them for two hours in a row (the length of a driving lesson) severely hampers breathing.
We, as a result, have found a solution to this problem by taking breaks outside the car every twenty minutes or so where we can remove masks whilst keeping a suitable distance from one another. As an unintended consequence to these breaks my students have found the new way of learning more informal and more relaxed and this time has allowed them to evaluate their driving better than they would have done previously by being in the car driving.
I, for one, will continue these breaks outside the car well after the current restrictions are lifted. Masks are surprisingly not mandatory in our lessons but they are mandatory on tests so a decision was made to wear them if nothing but to prepare the student for test conditions. The majority of our teaching is with 17-20 year olds and as stated on numerous occasions in the press this sector is flaunting the rules more than most. Masks are making both instructors and students feel safer whilst on lessons for sure.
All of my students, without exception, have adhered to all of my new in car rules without question. I have a long list of dos and don’ts with regards to lessons but by far mask wearing is the most difficult to feel comfortable with on lessons.
A list of my safety precautions can be found here
Parents have also been in regular contact with me to reassure me that their children are doing their best outside lessons to also stay safe. We appreciate not everyone is perfect in this regard but so far no covid-19 issues have come to light. I have now been instructing for 2 months so long may this positive statistic continue.
The weather has so far been in our favour since the return back to work. There are concerns in the industry as winter approaches that some of the new rules are going to be more difficult to adhere to. I, however, believe that safety is paramount at this time and where there is a will there is a way.
If we all adhere to the same guidelines then we will all come out of this on the other side. Who knows, many of our new practices might stick and become a new norm, long after the virus has been conquered
Happy driving and most of all Stay Safe!