Driving is a serious business but Noel Gaughan is here to teach us how to stay safe while driving and not just 'do enough' to pass our tests. There's a reason why he's chosen by many, including Adele, James McAvoy and our own Niall Horan!

If you’ve ever been nervous about sitting a test just using pen and paper, imagine how nervous you should be in a machine that can cause untold damage when used incorrectly.

Do you make any of these common driving mistakes that Noel highlights here?

Driving is a serious business but Noel Gaughan is here to teach us how to stay safe while driving and not just ‘do enough’ to pass our tests.

There’s a reason why he’s chosen by many, and is somewhat of a 'driving instructor to the stars' having taught X-Men star James McAvoy, Adele and former One Directioner Niall Horan (who’s given Noel a nickname but he won’t say what...maybe next time!).

Usually, though he’s chosen as he’s teaching people the skills needed to stay safe and still enjoy every trip.

Noel is an instructor who genuinely enjoys his job and wants to spend time on upskilling those he’s been tasked with teaching. He didn’t recognise Adele on first meeting her, he even failed to suspect her identity when she started singing at the wheel.

Driving Instructor Noel Gaughan and Leah Carroll
Driving Instructor Noel Gaughan and Leah Carroll

Noel says that if he can teach you the skills needed for every journey, then he doesn’t need to spend time on just getting you around one test route. He’s easy going and relaxed, allows you to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. He even says himself that he’s constantly looking at ways he can improve his driving skills.

He imparts his knowledge without fuss and puts the driver at ease. He doesn’t punish for mistakes but he does let you know what needs improving and how you can go about it. Most importantly he provides this information in a way that helps you understand the reasons behind what he’s asking you to do.

Noel has a big task on his hands and he’s taking it step by step. His aim is to improve national driving standards, with fewer accidents and a drastic cut in what he sees as unnecessary road fatalities. Noel wants to first create a hub of professional driving instructors who are cherry picked, not just for their knowledge but for their ability to instruct and work with learner drivers of every level.

Its4Women Insurance invited us along for a refresher driving lesson with Noel to go over some of the bad habits that we may have developed since we passed our driving test. He first observes and then comments on quirks we’ve picked up. The idea being that after this one hour lesson we should have learnt what mistakes we’re making and how we can go about improving our standard of driving so that everyone is paying more attention to what’s going on around them and how to plan ahead to stop accidents from happening.

Noel talks us through the 5 most common accidents on our roads:

  1. Rear end accident at a roundabout (drivers tend to look to the right and not at the car in front) 
  2. Rear end accident at traffic lights (drivers tend to not be paying attention to the car in front slowing down for the lights)
  3. Pulling out at a junction (driver coming out of the junction does not look left and they hit an oncoming vehicle)
  4. Crossing traffic at a junction (going from a major busy road to a minor road)
  5. Overtaking on a fast road and changing lanes (not checking blind spot and only relying on mirrors)