Learning to drive update

Driving Lessons update

It’s all been a bit crazy since our holidays in June although since we got back my driving instructor Jonathan has been working very hard to prepare me for my test. Yes, that’s right…. it’s all BOOKED. I have been in two minds about declaring my test date to everyone because of the pressure but I don’t think the pressure is my biggest hurdle… it’s most probably my fight or flight syndrome.

So, the big day is August 14th… and just over 2 weeks before I get married! (I like to do things all at once!)

With that date looming over me like a dark shadow (the test, not the wedding) I’ve we’ve been working really hard trying to nail down my driving skills. A lot of it has involved oodles of independent driving where Jonathan has given me signs he wants me to follow or 3/4 instructions in one go… all of which will happen in my test. Each week he’s been giving me little tips and hints to help me along the way, noticing things he sees I may struggle with, offering guidance on how to overcome my difficulties. He’s explained the whole test process to me and I’m quite clued up now on what to expect/look out for. I wouldn’t describe myself as confident just yet because to me, I’m still making lots of silly errors but I pray that I’m going to muddle through and pass.

These are some of the things that I feel I still struggle with…

– parking between parked cars

– timing of moving down in gears

– turning right at box junctions

– correcting mistakes when maneuvering

In theory I know what to do with all the above but there’s still something that makes me hesitant and unsure, maybe a tiny bit anxious. Although, I still have 3 or 4 lessons to go though so I’m sure that’s more than enough time to iron out the creases.

One of the things that Jonathan encouraged me to do was (once he felt I was ready) do some extra practicing in our own car, especially as I’m already insured on it. One of the things I love about my instructor is that he is very thorough. He explained in detail what to expect when I got into a new car and that it took time time to get used to it. He also advised us to get a passenger mirror to give poor @Yawnofthedad piece of mind whilst he risked his life getting in a vehicle driven by me. So the other weekend we took his advice. I think in my head I thought it was going to be much easier than I thought to drive another car but I was so so wrong. I drove to my mum and dad’s which is about a 15 minute drive (at most) and how many times did I stall the car?? 10 TIMES. My confidence took a bit of a knock that day if I’m honest but @Yawnofthedad said my driving was actually quite good, it was just that I really struggled to find the biting point. It didn’t help that I stalled on a main road in Ordsall at a set of lights (3 times) when a car full of bored teenagers with the windows down were behind me. They all very much bathed in my misfortune.

But… I made it through in one piece and if the biting point is my only hurdle with our own car then I’m fine with that. It’s nothing a couple of hours on a deserted car park won’t solve.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear any nerve-calming tips for test day!! How did you avoid those knee-jerk reactions?

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  1. Good luck with your test! I failed my first one in May but passed the second one at the beginning of last month, yippee! All I can say is I was definitely not quite ready for my first one and although had all the technical know how, I hadn’t done enough general driving, so just get out in your own car as much as you can between now and the test date.

    My second test was actually a much harder route than my first ironically, which included lots of dual carriage ways. Luckily my instructor had taken me out on that same route a few times before the test so I knew the roads reasonably well. He also did lots of mock test leading up to the day to ‘condition’ me into that frame of mind. No denying it is a very nerve wracking half an hour or so but I found once we were on the road I just relaxed into it. Good luck! X

    • Thank-you for the advice!! :-) I’m going to try and squeeze in as much practice as I can. I am so so nervous… I did horrendously bad on my lesson yesterday. Fingers crossed it’s a blip!! I’ll let you know how I get on!! xxx

  2. The most important thing in driving is understanding the flow of traffic on the road and and a proper look at the condition of the road.Driving in a street and driving on a highway are two completely different scernarios.All the very best for your test. (y)

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