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Learning to drive!
Hi all

Kind of a continuation of my 'How are you today?' post, just seeking tips/advice.

So at 32 (almost 33) I'm finally learning to drive (manual, not automatic).

I've had one dummy go in my friend's car around a car park. My first lesson is next week. I just wondered if anyone has any tips or advice, especially in regards to:

1) Co-ordination: I'm a bit rubbish at getting various parts of my body to do different things if I'm concentrating too much. Eg. when I had to brake I just went for the brake pedal quickly without thinking of the clutch, even though in the back of my mind I knew I had to apply the clutch, whilst concentrating on what was going on around me.

2) Knee-jerk reactions: I tended to hit the pedals too hard when I had to react to something

3) I found it hard to take in what my friend was telling me to do whilst concentrating on what I was doing (my priority)

I know this was just a little test session so I shouldn't beat myself up about it, I just want any advice or any success stories from people who might be a bit of a panicker like me Smile
One thing that really helped me to be able to gasp using my clutch beyond how i was told to release untill i feel a bite was actually reading up how the clutch works and by knowing that when you release the pedal the clutch and the fly wheel join and could use that to my advantage.

Well, not that I have any experience behind the wheel, but I can say that getting used to these kinetics takes a while. How hard/soft to push the pedal, how much to turn the wheels, etc. I don't think you learn those over night, but with practice you can get used to it.

As for the concentration issues over multiple instructions, you have to try and relax first and foremost. I would be honest with the instructor about this too, so that he can tackle teaching you better. I would recommend trying to recieve verbal instructions first as much as you can and then have at it, if possible, with the on-road instructions coming later, keeing things basic first. In time, you'll get used to the basics, just like you would riding a bike (ok, trickier than a bike, but you know what I mean) and then the extra set of instructions will come easier to grasp because the mechanical part of driving will already be an almost unconscious process.

That's what I think anyway.
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first tip is relax as best you can - your instructor will know your gonna be hyper vigilant , but he will be very calm to set you at ease im sure - you just concentrate on looking forward and listening to what he tells you mate - let him worry about all the other traffic - plus he has a clutch and brake pedal on his side too - any problems and he can stop you in a second

2nd - don't worry about knee jerk reactions , I bet the majority of people are exactly the same as you - he wont take you anywhere busy to start with anyway - he will want to let you get used to just using the pedals first how the car works anyway

3, don't stress about co-ordination either - that will just come naturally I assure you , your instructor will have you in a quieter area just practicing things like stopping and setting off again - he doesn't want to die anymore than you do lol so he's not gonna put you in a busy situation till he thinks your ready.

4, learning from friends is an ok thing just to get the feel of been on the drivers side only - he will have bad habbits as a driver as everyone including me that you will develop in your own time - plus a professional instructor should have the patience of a saint really...friends don't when its their car on the line Smile

top tip - relax your death grip from the wheel and listen to the guy at your side
"when u wake up with me ....I'll be your glass of water"
Work with a professional instructor, not a friend. The instructor will be apt to know your anxieties and the common mistakes.

Try sitting in the car on a flat surface with the ignition off and quietly practicing the foot and hand motions for braking and shifting and acceleration.

Breathe deeply and relax. You will need a lot of practice to master driving. It is amazingly complex so you have to condition yourself to coordinate it all. Calm helps.

And good luck, man. This is gonna be GREAT!!
I bid NO Trump!
I can understand how you feel as I just started learning how to drive myself.

It has been helpful to learn from a professional driver, although I do plan to ask my friends if I can practice with them(to save some money)

I often got tensed when I was given directions while taking a turn, so I asked my instructors to give directions or tips much ahead of time so that I am prepared.

I also try to listen to my favorite music before the practice in order to calm me down

Learning to drive can be a nerve wracking experience, but keep going at it Smile
If you get really drunk before your lesson, you won't care enough to panic... Salook

Start with flat terrain. If you progress to starting from a stopped position on an incline, make sure it's a very gentle incline. Newbies get scared when the car is rolling backwards and they have to apply the right amount of fuel and clutch pressure for a smooth initial acceleration. Then as you get better you can progress to steeper inclines.
Thanks guys, you're the best Smile
I forgot to say this earlier - I have a class one HGV licence so this may be a bit forward for you at this stage but ! when your driving , try to look as far forward as possible ... the quicker you can see pr anticipate a problem in front of you the quicker you can react ....that is a bit advanced for you right now but its a good thing for the future - if im trying to stop an 40 foot trailer then I need more stopping distance if that makes sense so I need to see what's happening in front , not just the car in front of me
"when u wake up with me ....I'll be your glass of water"
Actually, Matty, looking on down the road is an excellent way to center your car in the lane. You look well ahead in the lane you are driving and he car will almost automatically center itself.
I bid NO Trump!

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