Stage 1: The Pivot Method
Smooth braking and acceleration with the pivot method
One task that your teen should master by the end of the first week of behind-the-wheel practice is smooth braking and acceleration.
This takes a lot more practice than you think because it requires fine motor control of your foot. While there are many tasks in their day-to-day lives that require fine motor control of their hands, there isn’t much that a teenager does that requires precision control of their feet.
Beware of stomping
Some new drivers are prone to stomping on the pedals which results in an extremely jerky drive. They may actually lift their entire foot off the floor of the car when moving between the brake and accelerator. If this is the case, you need to show your teen the pivot method.
How the pivot method works
Instruct your teen to plant their heel between the brake and accelerator pedals. Simply pivot the foot left or right to access the brake and accelerator pedals, respectively.
The ball of the foot is all that will make contact with the pedal. The foot will be making contact at an angle. Most new drivers think they need to be pressing the pedal with their entire foot and that their foot should be inline or parallel with the pedal. As soon as they start using the pivot method, however, they’ll realize they have much more control over the amount of pressure they can exert over the pedals.
Continue on to Steering Methods