A pupil of mine went to test today and failed! :( This is obviously a great disappointment to me and to him although not a huge surprise as he wasn't really as ready as I like my pupils to be. The reason for the failure is not the subject of this blog however.
As is usual following a test failure, I sit and discuss with the candidate the reasons for the fail and any other faults that have occurred during the test. This particular candidate had a couple of safety faults on moving off. When discussing these he said "I don't believe in the blind spot!", completing the justification for not checking it with "I check my mirrors constantly and can see everything in there".
I was and still am quite shocked by these comments, particularly the former. He then justified this stance by saying that his previous instructor didn't believe in it either. Very often pupils cannot initially see the need for it but, if it is explained correctly, ultimately most people do understand it and the importance of checking it in certain situations. Now either my ability to explain things well is off this morning or he just wasn't receptive to what I was saying. He acknowledged what I was saying but just repeated over and over again that he didn't need to check it because he didn't believe in it.
Regardless of what he thinks he can see, he's wrong. He will probably do it to get through his test, but then stop doing it and ultimately will either have an accident or, in the worse case scenario, kill someone for the sake of a glance into the blindspot.
I always advise pupils, regardless of what bad habits they may pick up after they pass, to ALWAYS check the blindspot when pulling away. In my experience, doing so is highly likely to save someone's life and if that happens even once, it is definitely worth it.