Driving

I started driving before I had my permit/license (yes, I know… bad bad coastie ):oo:. When I was a freshman in high school I used to walk down to my Dad’s work (a trucking yard). Well, while I was waiting for him to get done with work, I would practice driving around the yard in his 69 Chevy pick up (he kept the keys under the mat for me). Sometimes he would let me drive home too. My uncle (a cop) would see us in town and just shake his head.

When I took drivers education in school during the summer before my senior year, the instructor was a riot. Our first stop each morning was for coffee and doughnuts. The first time we went on a drive he asked me who taught me how to drive, I told him my dad. Then he asked what my dad did for a living, I said truck driver. He said he figured as much because I made such wide right turns. :rofl:

He was a great instructor. He told me that he would pass me the first day because I didn’t hit anything, but being that it was a week’s course, we had to continue.

All I have to say is be patient with yourself.

One thing that I did to practice was “drive” my neighbor’s big lawn mower. Of course, it wasn’t the same as a car, but it gave me a feel for things anyway.

And I agree with everyone else; find yourself an empty parking lot (maybe at a school, since school is still out) and just practice.

I was terrified of driving on the highway after I got my license… a few “no other choice” drives across the chesapeake bay bridge, though, and I was all good.

Sometimes parents aren’t the best people to drive with, either. Maybe an older cousin, or an aunt would be better; they won’t be such alarmists.

I love the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. It’s always so much calmer than driving in NJ. :teehee:

I was terrified of driving on the highway the first few times, but you get used to it. Of course, they were super busy highways, but I adjusted quickly.

As far as telling where you are in the lane, that’s what side mirrors are for. When driving a big rig we use the mirrors to tell where we are in the lane, it’s impossible to tell otherwise.

Use your car’s side mirrors. You should be able to see where the stripes are in your side mirrors to ensure you are centered in the lane. There is something called the “Smith System” that teaches you to scan from the left side mirror, to the road in front of you, to the instrument panel, to the road in front of you, to the right side mirror, and then the whole thing in reverse in a constant scanning that ensure you are always aware of everything that is happening around your vehicle. It’s the safest way of driving and is practised automatically by most professional drivers.

Driving isn’t easy nor should you ever think of it as easy, that’s how accidents happen, but it’s not overly difficult either. Just relax and never forget about safety.

I don’t want to make you even more nervous but just have to say this after my years of driving professionally, driving is the single most dangerous thing the average person ever does. It’s very dangerous but if you think about safety at all times and watch out for other less safe drivers you’ll do just fine.

Thanks alot you guys. I sometime would quietly say the steps while doing them yesterday in class and the teacher made a comment about it.

I did better today. I only cried once and I kept going off the road sometimes and he says I still don’t turn properly.
I feel like I’m doing better though.

Once I get my permit, I’ll practice with my mom. She’ll be real cool about it.

In good news. I have ONE more day to go. Tomorrow. Andd. I started knitting a bowl to felt because I’ve always wanted to but never did.
It didn’t start out as a bowl, but… <.< hey. xD whatever works, eh?

:rofl:

I think you’ll be just fine. We all started somewhere. But do try to stay on the road :oo:

Awww poor sweetie! I understand how you feel. :hug:

I learned how to drive I was 29 years old. I’m now almost 32. :teehee: I was extremely nervous to learn how to drive. I have my license now, but I’m still nervous, especially after the little accident I had a few weeks ago. :pout: I felt horrible about it, I thought it was because I’m a bad driver and I shouldn’t drive again. But with talking to people around me, I realized I am far from being the only one who made a mistake. It happens… What’s important is that you go step by step, so that you learn to do new things when you’re ready.

It’s important you accept that you WILL make mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself. When it happens, stay calm and try to understand what you did wrong. There is no way you can get in the car and just drive perfectly. You need to practice, practice, practice, and then you’ll get it! :hug:

I agree with what Mason says about using your mirrors. My grandfather used to work for the NYC bus company, and he’s big on using mirrors…I’m lazy, so I don’t usually do this, but you should be able to back out of tight spots without turning around.

Sounds like this guy needs a bad evaluation written about him. “Impatient, instruction-style not conducive to student calmness or instilling confidence.” :wink:

I’m glad you’re second day went better - practice does make a difference. I’m glad the saying the steps outloud idea worked for you - it kept me sane at first, too. I agree with Mason’s comments on the mirrors - I use them more than anything for seeing where I am in the lane now. (Then again, my chevy doesn’t have a hood ornament :wink: Maybe my dad didn’t learn on cars with mirrors on the passenger side and didn’t know the mirror trick.).

Well. Yesterday was my third day and I did okay…
I think I passed.

He grades you on things on a scale of 1, 2, or 3.

I got 3 on starting the car. Which…everyone does. xD I got 1s on everything else.
He even gave me a - - 1 on something. o.o

Ohwell. I’ll get my permit in a few weeks and then have a year to practice before I get my license.

So, by which major city will you be practicing? :wink:

Congratulations on making it through! That alone takes guts when it’s an effort that brings you to tears. I expect you’ll do fine now that you’ve made it through the intimidation factor. Good luck!

Thanks! =]

Haha Nooo majorly big cities. xD The busiest one near here is Denver, where I go to school. They are constantly working on the roads and there is soooo much traffic. So. I’m going to avoid that for a while until I get…alot better.

Snow! Luckily, it’s summer for your beginning. My SO’s children live nearby there; in fact, he’s visiting them this weekend.

Keep us posted on your progress. I’ll cross a couple of fingers for ya.

DS took driver’s ed last year. They gave him a piece of paper to keep with him that said he was in the course and sent a copy to the state. After his driving portion (2 weeks book work, 2 weeks driving) they gave him another piece of paper saying he had completed and passed the course. We took that paper to the dmv and he was given his IP license. He won’t drive though. He says he’s not ready.
I was taught to drive by my sister, who at the time, only had a restricted license herself. We used to go out on the gravel roads.
I know it’s hard to relax and pay attention to a million other things at the same time, but that’s really what driving is all about. You’ll get the hang of it. Just practice, practice, practice!!

Pancakes, congrats on passing your test. I empathize with you. My daughter got her permit a few weeks ago. It’s nerve-wracking from both sides (your’s and our’s). We have only stick-shift cars, so this is complicating her learning process. We live in a neighborhood with a lot of stop signs and a pool with a parking lot. I made her practice for a couple of weeks inside the neighborhood before I let her hit the smaller roads. She’s getting better, but we’re not ready to hit the busier roads yet.

Go slowly and gain confidence. Experience will help you get better.

Oh, and a suggestion (although as a teen you might balk). I just bought some magnetic strips that say “Student Driver” in red letters (on a white background). These are for our cars. While I know it’s embarrassing, they alert drivers that the driver is learning. They will, hopefully, keep their distance and will be more forgiving when you make a mistake.

Good luck. :muah: