EDT Essential Driver Training

The Essential Driver Training (EDT) programme consists of 12 lessons, each has a specific content determined by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and each lasting 1 hour in duration.

The RSA envisage people learning to drive as they always did in the past either with friends or family along with professional learner driving lessons with an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI).


When you have learned and practiced a certain topic or series of topics relating to your next scheduled EDT module then an EDT lesson is conducted to advise on and possibly fine tune these topics.


Unless you have an amount of prior driving experience or have access to a vehicle to prepare and practice in between EDT lessons it is not possible to complete the EDT programme and achieve Driving Test standard with just 12 hours driving experience.


The following is a brief summary of the EDT syllabus as laid out by the Road Safety Authority (RSA).  Lessons 1 – 8 have to be undertaken in the sequence they are laid out. Lessons 9 -12 can be taken in any sequence.

Lesson 1 Car Controls & Safety Checks

Vehicle primary and secondary controls. Vehicle safety checks including related safety and legal issues. Moving off and stopping the vehicle. Eco driving. Planning a journey.

Lesson 2 Correct Positioning

Driving on the straight, cornering, negotiating bends and junctions, entering and exiting slip roads, entering and exiting junctions and roundabouts and correct positioning in traffic lanes.

Lesson 3 Changing Direction

Observational techniques in low risk areas (quiet residential areas, quiet local or rural roads). Use of MSMM routine when turning, dealing with junctions and roundabouts. Blind spot checks moving off and “safety glances” changing lanes, merging from slip roads, overtaking etc.

Lesson 4 Progression Management

Ability to regulate and maintain good control of the speed of the vehicle in low risk areas (quiet residential areas, quiet local or rural roads). Speed limits, stopping distances, effects of road conditions and weather conditions. Possible safety, environmental and legal issues of driving too fast.

Lesson 5 Correct Positioning

The ability to position the vehicle correctly in various different road conditions including, on the straight, traffic lanes, left and right turns, left and right bends, roundabouts, approaching and emerging from junctions, reversing, turnabout, parking, stopping in a confined space (parallel parking) and stopping in traffic.

Lesson 6 Anticipation & Reaction

Scanning for potential hazards. Identify and react correctly to hazards over a variety of road conditions including junctions, blind spots, parked vehicles, crossings, roundabouts, motorcyclists, cyclists, road works and pedestrians. Ability to determine the correct speed and gear for each situation, keeping a safe distance, correct braking. Hazards related to driving at night, in the rain, in fog, in snow and ice.

Lesson 7 Sharing The Road

The ability to drive in various road conditions with due care and attention for the road, traffic conditions and other road users. Be able to enter, cross and join roads safely. Be able to park on roads where there are other road users. Demonstrate the ability to pass stationary and slow moving vehicles, cyclists, and other road users safely and responsibly. Knowing when to give way to other road users and pedestrians. How to deal with emergency vehicles.

Lesson 8 Driving Safely Through Traffic

The ability to drive safely where there is a significant amount of other traffic. The ability to act decisively and appropriately while driving in traffic. Use of defensive driving techniques. Ability to describe actual and potential risks. Demonstrate a good level of co-operation with other road users.

Lesson 9 Changing Direction (More Complex Situation)

The ability to carry out scanning and observational tasks in more challanging and complex driving situations. This would include dual carriageways in busy traffic. The ability to change course in various driving conditions with due regard for traffic controls, other road users, yielding to other road users when required and use of the MSMM routine. All the aforementioned should be done with the learner driver making independent driving decisions and without prompting from the accompanying driver.

Lesson 10 Speed Management (More Complex Situation)

Maintaining good control of the speed of the vehicle in more complex and challanging driving situations. Driving in fast moving traffic where speeds are more variable, ie, areas where there are changing speed limits or variable road or traffic conditions. Decisions, on the whole, should be made independently by the learner driver without prompting from the accompanying driver.

Lesson 11 Driving Calmly

Demonstrate the ability to drive in a calm controlled manner in various situations including when the learner may feel frustrated, exasperated or threatened by surrounding events. Dealing with peer pressure or other distractions. How to react if the vehicle stalls. Understanding the effects of alcohol, drugs, prescribed medication, tiredness, sickness, injury or heightened emotions. The ability to explain the effects of the vehicle being fully loaded, how to load the vehicle safely and securely, the importance of not carrying more than the maximum permitted number of passengers for the vehicle.

Lesson 12 Night Driving

The ability to drive safely in the dark on various roads. Driving in built up areas with good street lighting, roads with poor lighting and roads with no lighting. Understanding the correct lights to use in the vehicle for the various conditions. How to deal with other traffic and the effect their lights have on you and yours have on them.