I was quite nervous for this particular lesson as it was the largest gap I had had between driving. My instructor had to cancel my last lesson right at the last minute as a family member was taken ill. This meant I had over 2 weeks between lessons and I thought I had forgotten everything!
This was also my first lesson of driving for the whole time, straight from my house. I could see some neighbours watching and knew my mum would be watching from the house so I felt added pressure to move off well. I adjusted my seat and mirrors quickly beforehand which is something that is so natural to do now and I really don’t have to think about the process.
At the end of my road is a fairly busy road that directly links two big towns so at 8 o’clock in the morning it was inevitably busy. I haven’t driven in busy traffic until now and was also turning across the traffic out of my road. I was quite stressed…firstly about turning out of my road and then of how busy the road was.
I’ve found that when the roads are busy you are sort of forced to drive in a certain way; keeping up with traffic and doing things quickly like turning into junctions. As I am still not the best at braking, I tried to keep my distance from the cars in front, not miles but enough space so that I had enough time to think about my braking if they braked suddenly.
When I got off the main road it wasn’t soon enough, I normally prefer main roads over residential roads however I hated that because it was so busy, if I did something wrong I could have injured so many people. There are also two schools along this main road and it was the perfect time of day for there to be children running around everywhere. Is it just me who presumes every child will run out into the road?
I drove around the usual residential area for a bit and realised that passing parked cars in is even more difficult during rush hour as there are so many people leaving their houses… when I can drive, I’m only going out after dark!
‘The Tesco Roundabout’
After going around the houses for a while I went back onto the main road and realised that I was approaching ‘the Tesco roundabout’ which is a horrible six exit roundabout. I was only going two exits round but as I still have no idea about roundabouts this scared me. I have been around this roundabout before but it was dark, empty and I also only went one exit around.
I seemed to struggle with gears during this lesson. I like to wait until I am away from a junction or away from traffic lights before I change into second and I don’t change into third until I’m told to because I always get it stuck in neutral when I try to change.
I seemed to stay in first gear for longer than normal for some reason but I’m not too sure why. Also when Matt told me to go to third and even fourth gear I had to psych myself up to do it which is something he picked up on. I think the reason I don’t like these gears is because of my previous problem with third when I accidently put the car into first and the car stopped abruptly when I was on a busy main road. I also find it difficult to get back down from third and fourth when approaching a road that I am turning into.
This whole lesson was spent just driving around. I went down one road which had the worst road works I’ve ever seen on it. The road had been completely dug up but only relayed in certain places so there were massive sharp drops and bumps where the road had been relayed. I’m glad it wasn’t my car, that’s all I can say!
We didn’t stop once to discuss anything and while I was glad I got to spend the whole hour driving, not stopping also meant not learning anything new.
In the next couple of weeks I’m having a lesson on dual carriageways which I’m looking forward to as if I can master the speed and slip roads of these I’m hoping I’ll become more confident on normal roads.