The AA Driving School has opened up its online Zoom tutorials to any and all learner drivers to help keep their skills up-to-date during Covid-19.
Previously, only those learning with one of the AA's franchised instructors was eligible, but now anybody looking to improve their theory knowledge in the UK can join, "whether they are already learning or not".
Following a successful trial earlier in the month, the online sessions have been running Monday to Friday at 12pm from 18 May.
“For those who had already started lessons, being forced to take a significant break from them will in effect mean they are starting over again when lessons do recommence," said Sarah Rees, managing director of AA Driving School.
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“We’re excited to offer free, online driver education to the learner community. Being able to take part in these online sessions will help them maintain a level of learning that should help minimise the disruption an extended break from lessons has had.
“It’s also a chance to anyone, whether they are already learning or not, to brush up on their skills and might help alleviate some of the lockdown boredom.”
The sessions are hosted by AA Driving School instructor Jenna Williams, and each covers a different theory topic, from rules of the road and attitude to hazard awareness.
The remaining sessions are as follows:
- 22 May - Rules of the road, legal requirements & best practice
- 26 May - Stopping distances, road systems and conditions
- 27 May - Vehicle loading, fuel consumption and driving with passengers
- 28 May - Driving behaviours, attitudes and dealing with emergency services
- 29 May - Hazard awareness whilst driving
- 1 June - Motorway rules
- 2 June - Road traffic signs
- 3 June - Safety and your vehicle
- 4 June - Vehicle handling
- 5 June - Vulnerable road users
- 8 June - Practice paper
- 9 June - Mock test
Hazard perception sessions:
- 10 June - Introduction to the hazard perception test
- 11 June - Practice video
- 12 June - Mock test
Participants receive an introduction to the topic before working through practice questions, which they can vote on the answer.
Sessions finish with a question and answer section, and at any point, participants can ask a chat-based question.
“I would say to anyone who is not sure about signing up that they can definitely help with your revision as there’s someone there to talk you through the answers," said Williams.
"There’s no test and if you get questions wrong no one will know because you vote on a polling system.”
“Many leaners don’t know when they are ready to take the theory test, some will book it too early and others will not revise important parts like hazard perception. If you fail the test you aren’t shown the reasons for this or which questions were incorrect, so it’s difficult to learn from your mistakes.
“Normally you learn the theory independently and it can become boring if you can’t see your progress, but these sessions can help you to stay focused.
For more information, head to The AA's website, where you can also leave your details and be paired up with a local instructor when it is safe to re-start lessons.
Learning under lockdown
All driving lessons, except those for critical key workers, have been suspended under the UK's lockdown measures designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Lockdown restrictions have seen new pupil enquiries to the AA Driving School soar, and the driving school - one of the UK’s biggest - has had to place prospective pupils on a waiting list for physical lessons.
They will be contacted when lockdown ends to book their lessons.
Throughout the UK lockdown, the AA is also offering a free breakdown service to all NHS workers, a service which is being used 100 times a day.
A dedicated NHS hotline is available for them on 0800 0725064, or the can visit theaa.com/nhs for more information.