Top Tips: How to be an A* student driver!
⤚ Learning to Drive ⇾
Rather unusually, neither of my parents have ever learned to drive. So when I decided to learn myself I was a little anxious, to say the least. It took me a long time to find a driving instructor I was comfortable with but I did. After my first few lessons, I was, against all odds, making some progress. At this point my Mother in Law kindly offered to take me out in her Nissan Micra, (aka. Little Beast,) to practice my new found skills.
I will be honest, I am not the best driver. It’s not the actual moving of the vehicle I struggle with or the fact that the Micra has no power steering. I have that bit down! However, I do get anxious, like a lot of people, and I am easily distracted as well.
“Oh look, a horse in a field…hey, I know that person, COO EEE…I like that blue car… maybe this car would look better in blue!” You get the picture.
So, I have compiled a list of tips which helped me become a better learner driver. Hopefully, they will help you too.
⤚ TOP TIPS ⇾
๑ SAFETY FIRST ๑
As I already mentioned, when I was learning to drive I had lessons with a professional driving instructor and my Mother in Law. If I count up the hours I spent learning to drive, I spent a lot more hours practising in the little Micra than with my driving instructor. So, whilst it may seem like common sense, I am going to mention it anyway…
You do need it! It is the law.
Go Girl have car insurance policies for learner drivers at an affordable price. So you (and your Mother in Law,) can rest easy, even when the ‘little beast’ is considered to be a more valued family member than you. It is also a far more enjoyable experience when your passenger isn’t intermittently holding their breath, reaching out for the steering wheel, or making what can only be described as periodical shrieks of panic throughout the lesson.
๑ KNOWLEDGE IS POWER ๑
Having an understanding of how your vehicle works will not only make you a more informed driver but it will also help to ease your anxieties and reduce any distractions. Don’t worry, you don’t need a full working knowledge of internal combustion to do this. Understanding what you need to do to maintain your vehicle will suffice.
I will hold my hands up when I first got into my learner car I was not prepared! But, the more I learned about the car itself, what everything did, what the dashboard lights meant, how to fill up the tank and how to change the oil etc. The more confident I felt.
So, get smart!
๑ FINDING THE PERFECT TEACHER ๑
I was fortunate enough to find an excellent teacher. My driving instructor was professional, calm, and informative. He made me feel relaxed and less anxious, which other instructors had failed to do. He was the third driving instructor I trialled. My advice? Do not feel obligated to stick with the instructor you have if things are not working out.
I decided I wanted to have a female instructor before I started to learn. So basically, I limited my options dramatically from the onset. That didn’t work out. In the end, I decided to go with what felt right and I didn’t restrict myself. So, I learned that I had to be open-minded and clear about my feelings. Trust your gut.
If like me, you had a lovely person, who was willing to take you out, remember to exercise your patient bones thoroughly beforehand. That is my only advice!
Oh, and good luck!
๑ THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS ๑
I am one of those people who struggles to ask questions. I worry I will look stupid. I was honest about this from the beginning and spoke to both my driving instructor and my Mother in Law.
Really, though, there are no stupid questions. Chances are, they have heard the same questions over and over. I remember, during my third lesson, forgetting which peddle made the car move. I remained stationary! As the light turned to green, I stared blankly into the distance. It wasn’t until I made eye contact with the charming gentleman who was waiting at the junction opposite, he was mouthing, “Move! Idiot!”
I realised I had absolutely no idea how to drive the car. Remember…
Firstly, do not be afraid to ask!
Secondly, other drivers will be mean to you… that is okay!
Thirdly, when the light turns green… you go!
๑ BE KIND TO YOURSELF ๑
It is easy to get overwhelmed when you are learning to drive; there is a lot to learn. I always thought I was an excellent multi-tasker, but that was simply not the case. There were times I genuinely thought I would hulk out if I heard the word “mirrors” one more time.
Having said that, I really did have fun, I learnt lots, I stayed safe, and the Mother in Law bonding time was actually pretty nice!
So, have you put all of these things into practice? Yes? Congratulations, you deserve an A*!
If you have any tips and advice of your own please share them below and feel free to share your own funny or interesting stories also, I would love to hear them!
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