Why do other drivers give learner drivers such a hard time?

 In Blog

Ok, so we haven’t been doing any blogging on here for a while now, but it’s time to start again with it. And it seems fitting to write my first blog based on an incident that happened yesterday which got me thinking “Why do people hate learner drivers?”.
So they don’t really “hate” us, but they do seem to give us an unusually hard time on the roads. There seems to be something about seeing that L plate on the back of a car which just winds people up. But it’ getting worse.
A number of driving instructors have taken to having cameras mounted in their vehicles, offering some sort of record if the worst should happen. I myself have been physically threatened whilst on a driving lesson, and another instructor I know has actually been assaulted whilst teaching. So why is this happening?
The incident I spoke of earlier happened to me and my pupil yesterday whilst doing a driving lesson in Bedford yesterday. Approaching a roundabout to take the third exit (turning right), we had entered the roundabout, made it to the second exit at which point we did mirror-signal-manoeuvre (MSM) to get ready to exit the roundabout. It was then that we saw another vehicle on our left hand side which had entered the roundabout from the same direction as us. They were attempting to go around the OUTSIDE of us!!! Having realised that we were in the correct position, they proceeded to then fall back behind us as we came of the roundabout, but not before giving us a long blast of the horn. Once behind, they then drove aggressively close behind us, and you could clearly see them shouting in the direction of our car.
I spent a long time after this discussing it with my student, having to reassure them that we had been correct with our approach to the roundabout and the way we had been exiting it, but then also had to discuss with them about dealing with dangerous drivers, and how to avoid collisions and confrontations.
A little while late though, I started wondering if this would have happened if I had been driving instead, and in my normal family car. A growing number of examples have happened to me recently where people will take incorrect routes though junctions and roundabouts, seemingly with the only intention of getting ahead of my learner. But in my normal car, I hardly ever see it happen.
So why do we get a hard time. Yes, sometimes a student may be slightly slow to move off. Yes, there may be some hesitation at roundabouts. And yes, sometimes we stall. But they are learning, and getting aggressive or impatient is not going to make them learn any faster.
Finally, remember this.
You were a learner once.
Duke & Duchess Driving School
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