Co-Driver and Parent Information

I am nervous about being a co-driver. Can anyone help me?

Yes we can. On an as needed basis, we will be offering a FREE co-driver seminar that will cover many items that we teach during the in-car driver training, and will help you aid your student with their practice sessions.

We will introduce you to various techniques including:

  • Emergency Manoeuvres
  • Avoiding the Rear Crash
  • Habits to help us stay collision free
  • Road Test Expectations
  • Steps to properly Parallel Park

To get more information on our free co-driver seminar contact us at:

Why use a driving school?

There are many reasons to use a driving school. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Get their licence early at 8 months as opposed to 1 year.
  • The insurance break; You could qualify for an insurance discount. Contact your insurance provider for more information.
  • Professional up to date training.
  • Teenagers tend not to listen to parental input, they sometimes have that “automatic block”.

What should I look for when choosing a driving school?

  • Is the school MTO accredited and approved.
  • Ask for instructors experience and qualifications.
  • Ask for references.
  • Ask friends.
  • Ask your insurance agent.
  • Ask about the classroom teaching methods how old are the videos how often is the curriculum updated.
  • Don't go with the first school that calls you back.
  • Whenever possible choose a course that offers one on one in the car.
  • Make sure that the course includes time in a busier center (i.e.: Newmarket, Lindsay).
  • Make sure that the course includes a Freeway session (On and off at least 3 times).
  • Ask how long it will take to get in car after they start their classroom sessions.
  • Tell the school of any problems or special needs of your student they may need to adjust the program to suit your child’s strengths and weaknesses.

Government Restrictions

New drivers of passenger vehicles learn to drive with six important conditions with a G1 licence. A new driver must hold a G1 licence for a minimum of 12 months before attempting the G1 road test. This time can be reduced to eight months if the student successfully completes a Ministry-approved Beginner Driver Education Course. Drivers earn more privileges after passing their G1 road test.

As a G1 driver, students are required to:

  • Maintain a zero blood alcohol level while driving;
  • Be accompanied by a fully licensed driver, who has at least four years driving experience, and a blood alcohol level of less than .05 (accompanying drivers 21 and under must have zero per cent), in case he/she needs to take over the wheel;
  • Ensure the accompanying driver is the only other person in the front seat;
  • Ensure the number of passengers in the vehicle is limited to the number of working seat belts;
  • Refrain from driving on Ontario's "400-series" highways or on high speed expressways such as the Queen Elizabeth Way, Don Valley Parkway, Gardiner Expressway, E.C. Row Expressway and the Conestoga Parkway;
  • Refrain from driving between midnight and 5:00 a.m.

Note: If your accompanying driver is a driving instructor licensed in Ontario, you may drive on any road.

Parental Restrictions

Parental restrictions could include:

  • Only 1 passenger at a time.
  • Start slow (no trips to Toronto).
  • Any tickets mean instant restriction of driving.

First Rule of being a co-driver is “Don't panic”

Try not to show them how nervous you are. Many students tell us that this just makes it even harder for them and you are feeding on each others upset. Try to demonstrate confidence in them.

The Second Rule of being a co-driver is “Practice with them”

The more time you spend in the car the better. Don't worry about your bad habits you've already taught them all you know. New Drivers regardless of age are more likely to crash simply through lack of experience and inability to put the picture together. Every opportunity should be used just going to the corner store leave a little early if you have to make time. Every time they get behind the wheel they build up a little more experience and confidence They need to see and experience new situations.

Every student should be encouraged to write down new information and techniques when in class. These “step by step instructions” can aid them and you, the co-driver, towards staying safe and responsible on our roads. These steps can also help the co-driver aid the new driver with how to properly perform some of the more common driving tasks.

You and I don't need to figure out every new problem that comes along chances are we have seen it before and know what to do, your new driver doesn't have that background and when called upon to make a quick decision they don't have the tools to make the correct choices

Crash free driving is not a matter of luck or skill although these play a part. We have to make decisions and stay focused on the task at hand.

Students Common Mistakes

Some of the most common mistakes made by new drivers are:

  • Not looking behind
  • Not obeying lane markings
  • Not using mirrors
  • Fixating on unimportant objects

They tend to look ahead at immediate danger They are not able to sort out the real dangers from all the sensory input. We forget how much we deal with behind the wheel.

We make over 200 decisions/min while driving. Much of what we do is automatic and we tend to discount the amount of concentration needed to drive reasonably well. A Government study declared that it takes 5 to 9 years for a new driver to reach the competency level of the general driving population, and there are many experts out there who don't believe that that is saying very much.

So back to “Practice with them”