Archive for the ‘Driving’ Category

Driving Lesson #32

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

7 Days to Go

Funny old day today, made one sill mistake that if in a test would have been a fail. Spent a fair bit of time today parking in bays, started off at ASDA, who despite being in the empty part of the car park told Kev he could not teach learners in Car Parks. Went down to Marine Drive and had people driving behind us while trying to park in the bays.

Anyway seem to have got he parking in bays quite well, did one perfectly by accident, still need to remember to keep checking behind me.

Driving Lesson #31

Monday, February 16th, 2009

8 Days till the test

Got a lesson every day this week, so I am just going to do short summaries rather than write anything at length. Aced turning round in the road again, missed a check on my reverse park and went too close, then too wide then got it right on reverse round the corner. Also had a tendency to drive a little to far right on faster roads, must remember the two points on the windscreen the markings should pass through.

Tomorrow is bay parking more reverse parking and reverse round a corner.

Driving Lesson #30

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Passed the 60 hours of driving lessons milestone today, which probably equates to about 58 hours of actual driving. What with the first couple of lessons being driven to somewhere to practice, and the end of lessons going over Drivers Records from time to time. Turning round in the road was pretty much spot on, Kev wanted me to make a mistake so that he could ask me to do it again so we would be pointing the right way again. Reverse round a corner wasn’t as bad as usual I concentrated very hard – however I find it difficult to get the observations in and make the changes to steering to get round the corner. Reverse parking went very wrong from the outset – I was phased by a white van and rushed it, getting it all wrong from the outset.

The rain was really quite heavy on the way home, it was interesting to be in that situation but made it very difficult to see and make judgments in my door mirrors. Still figuring out where all of the controls for the car are, it doesn’t seem to quite make sense in my head that the rear wiper is pushing the right control forward and front wipers are pushing it up.

Have booked another 6 lessons with Kev over the course of the next two weeks, one every day over half term. A bit of a drive round on the Monday and then my test on the Tuesday. Starting to get minor butterflies when I think about it, although reading a book or playing EVE gets my mind off it.

Driving Lesson #29

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Today was not my best lesson so far, generally my driving was quite poor, I seem to have forgotten some fairly important things like using the hand break and putting the clutch down. I did change my driving position within the car as I was in quite a tense position which dosn’t give me the best view in the world, not sure if that affected it but it may have done.

I am still having problems reversing round corners, despite spending some time today reading back my old notes I couldn’t really do it today either, it is a bit to analog for my digital brain. Kev had another way which might help, and was certainly a way of getting the job done.

  1. ratcStart reversing back, slightly further than you would do if you were making small incremental changes.
  2. Make one full turn of the wheel to the left.
  3. Wait until the kerb moves past the center line in the left mirror.
  4. Straighten up
  5. Wait until the kerb moves past the other side of the center line
  6. Repeat from 2 – 5 until round the corner

It is by no means the ideal way to get the job done, however it is passable and it might lead on to me being able to reverse round a corner without major problems. I hope to be able to get another 10 more lessons in before my test, which I can confirm is on the 24th February. Which is four weeks tomorrow, half term is before the test so that should give me some extra opportunity to practice.

Driving Lesson #28

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Moving towards my 60th hour of driving, and I am still enjoying it. Made a couple of silly mistakes today, the first (not the first mistake just the first silly one) was not taking a right turn where I should of. It was down to my perception of how the road went, I hadn’t anticipated that the road itself went straight on, I thought it went off to the left. Kev asked me to take the next right, and I missed it and went straight on.

Second mistake was not stopping at a give way line, someone came round a sort of blind corner, had I crept further forward I would have seen them. This was bad because they had to slow down, on the off chance they are reading this, sorry! Lesson learnt though.

Kev has said he is happy for me to book my test, so I did. I am not going to post it on here until I have it confirmed with Kev. It is against by better judgement to post it at all, as I am likely to end up with twitters, texts and e-mails soon before the test which might make me nervous. We will see.

Driving Lesson #26

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Today was a day for gear changes and roundabouts, some dual carriageways and national speed limit single carriageways in the pitch black freezing cold. Kev was trying to get me more confident and less slightly dangerous on roundabouts which is good as I find them shockingly confusing, particularly if I need to do a gear change coming up to them.

Lifehack has an article on making decisions under preasure, which I think probably covers the broad techniques I should be using to make sure I am better at roundabouts than I am at the moment.

Specifically – know the situation, know the outcomes and commit to the task at hand.

Driving Lesson #25

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

First lesson in two weeks, for that matter I don’t get another lesson for two weeks either. I feel a little stuck with the driving to be honest, each lesson seems similar to the previous lesson, it is possibly a mix of the law of [[Wikipedia:diminishing returns]] and fustration at doing the same thing over and over again.

Took a look at the Burgess Hill Test Center the website still says no information available, and I can’t seem to select any times or dates on the “book a test” page on Never mind, hopefuly will be able to book a test at some point in 2009!

Anyway, as I said no more lessons for two weeks because of Christmas, will update again then for sure.

Driving Lesson #24

Monday, December 8th, 2008

So today was the 48th hour of driving a car, we didn’t do anything new one emergency stop at the end after being chased round by a 4×4 for a bit, should have guessed that was going to happen after Kev had said he wanted me to do an emergency stop.

Trying to perfect manoeuvres on difficult roads (read steep), was quite interesting trying to do a three point turn on a large hill. One thing that is slightly concerning me is reversing into parking spaces in supermarkets and the such. I am not sure why I would want to reverse into a parking space when I could just go in forwards and then put the shopping in the boot, it just seems like something that might be useful at some point.

Anyway, no lesson next week Kev is going Christmas shopping.

Driving Lesson #23

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Emergency Stops…


My head is buzzing after doing my first four emergency stops, it isn’t the emergency stops that I don’t like it is being in charge of a car after doing one, also having your mate shout “STOP” in your left ear, has a somewhat negative [[Wikipedia:Pavlovian]] conditioning effect on the enjoyment of driving.

So as with my earlier posts I am going to try and write down the procedure for doing an emergency stop, as with previous posts this is my memory of what to do, not official. Please take advise of a qualified driving instructor (like Kev) before trying this.

  1. Instructor/Examiner shouts STOP in your left ear ;-).
  2. Press down the brake, then the clutch (this is for an [[Wikipedia:ABS]] car).
  3. As you are doing to try and lock out your arms and push yourself into the chair to avoid being thrown forward.
  4. In the event of rear wheels drifting out, steer into the same direction as the the drift. f.ex. if you drift right, steer right.
  5. Put on the hand break.
  6. Change to first gear.
  7. Look over both shoulders (left and right…).
  8. Move off slowly and carefully.

Chances are if you are anything like me your head will be buzzing, this would probably be a good time to pull over and compose yourself.

Driving Lesson #22

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Today was another chance to go through my driver record, Kev got to tick off a few more of the boxes which is always a nice feeling. I am definitely suffering from a case of diminishing returns when it comes to driving, Kev and I had a discussion at the end of the lesson about trying to get more polish on my driving rather than learning any new skills.

My driver record now looks like this:


Cockpit Checks, Safety Checks, Controls & Instruments, Safe Positioning, Mirrors – Vision & Use, Signals and Pedestrian Crossings. (7 in total)

Seldom Prompted

Moving Away & Stopping, Anticipation and Planning, Use of Speed, Other Traffic, Junctions, Roundabouts, Turning the Vehicle Around, Reversing, Parking, Darkness, Weather Conditions. (11 in total)


Dual Carriageways, Legal Responsibilities, Environmental Issues, Security (4 in total)

Not Covered / Not Known

Passengers & Carrying Loads, Emergency Stops (2)

I agree with all of that, Emergency Stops have not been covered at all yet, and we haven’t spent enough time on Dual Carriageways to make any really judgment. The little box on the bottom right is a little hard to gauge as they are all covered in the theory test (not sure why they are on the drivers record really).

Annoyingly enough the Brighton and Hove test centers are closing on the 8th of January and don’t appear to have any free slots to book a test so it looks like I am going to be booking my test in Burgess Hill in February. Gives me plenty more time to practice!