Listening to a client who just failed a driving test can be challenging. It’s often difficult to figure out precisely what happened, as video cameras and voice recordings are not allowed, and examiners’ notes are often sparse. Emotions and embarrassment can distort the client’s recollection of events.

Understanding the Client’s Context

Client: “It was 3:15 PM!”

When a client fails for driving too slow, it’s important to understand their context. For instance, when asked why they failed, one client repeatedly emphasized, “It was 3:15 PM!” After some probing, the client explained, “Cooper, it was 3:15 PM—the time when school gets out! Kids can come out of nowhere and flood the roadway.”

The client’s belief that kids could be everywhere at 3:15 PM dictated their overly cautious driving.

Safe Driving vs. Slow Driving

Client: “I was extra extra safe! 🤔”

Many clients equate safe driving with slow driving. On test day, they often CHANGE and drive extra slow, thinking it’s safer. This mindset can override all their training, causing them to drive unusually slow throughout the entire test.

Instructor: “Were there 400 kids out on the streets and crossing the crosswalks? 🤨”

Instructor: “Okay, then how many kids were out there?”

Instructor: “So, to clarify, you imagined seeing 400 kids because it was 3:15 PM. You were slowing down near the school areas, even though you didn’t see kids flooding the streets. The context in your head made you think there were kids everywhere, right? 🧠👀”

Instructor: “So, you drove extra slow because you imagined kids everywhere due to the time. This was a new driving method for you, something you’ve never practiced before, correct? 🚗🛑”

Instructor: “Wow! You were trying to be extra safe, driving a new way for the first time, never practised.”

The Impact of Context on Driving

Clients often adopt a cautious driving style they’ve never practiced before, especially on test day. This context can take over, erasing all their training and leading to, a new way, overly slow and cautious driving.

Final Verdict

Examiner: “Sorry, but you failed for driving too slow. 🚫🐢”

  • #SafeDriving doesn’t always mean #SlowDriving.
  • Understand the #Context behind the client’s actions.
  • Address #BeliefsAndContext that override training.

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Cooper Talks Driving...


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Materials presented here are for education purposes only referencing two ICBC materials,Tuning Up Drivers Manual, Learn To Drive Right Manual, training material from the 3 week Driving Instructors Licensing Program and amterials from the GLP classroom certificate Program. and Todd Cooper are not responsible for any consequences that may result from use of this material. Throughout these posts references are made to acts and regulations that govern driving in British Columbia.

In the event of a difference between the material here and any of these acts or regulations, the acts and regulations shall apply. For specifc help related to these acts please refer to a professional lawyer or a police office.