Posts Tagged ‘licence’

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Driving tips and tricks

February 23, 2011

Hi all! So I have now been driving for two and a half weeks, and I’m rapidly finding out that the adage “Once you’ve passed your test, that’s when you start learning to drive” is true. I thought that from my first couple of weeks (since I’ve clocked up a fair few miles in a relatively short space of time) I would share my experiences and things that I have learned.

  • Nobody can make you go faster than you want to, no matter how close up behind you they may drive. Don’t rush yourself. Stay in your comfort zone, and you’ll soon get more at ease with your car. If people want to go faster, they’ll overtake – they always find a way!
  • Do not try and do a hill start in 3rd gear. It will not work! So learn where your gears are. It’s best to have a practice drive around the block (over, and over, and over – I did!) to feel at ease with the car before you have to go somewhere specific.
  • Be nice. Sometimes life is plain unfair, but a lot of the time what goes around comes back around. So if someone is waiting to pull out of a junction, and it’s safe, let them. It’ll make you feel better about when you stall your car and the person behind you is patient, or when someone lets you out in front of them.
  • Learn the width of your car. Preferably not by bumping the end of your wing mirror against another car (although you’re unlikely to do any damage – I did it once and escaped unharmed). If in doubt, then stop and let the other driver come through.
  • At a roundabout, even if you think the car on your right will stop because you’re halfway across, don’t assume that they will. Especially if they are boy racers. Technically, even if they are idiots and are driving too fast, they have the right of way so just let them go ahead of you, and soon enough they will be out of your way.
  • Learn your routes, so that you know where likely problem areas are going to be. For example, on the way to work I always slow right down to drive through Tetbury because it has a ridiculous crossroads / roundabout junction, sharp curved roads with cars parked on one side, speed bumps and a lack of people who seem to know the basic Highway Code. So when you know somewhere is usually problematic, be aware!
  • If a pedestrian has arrived at a zebra crossing, even if they’re not near you, slow down so you can stop for them. Otherwise they will glare at you. And technically, they are right (unfortunately).
  • The turning circle on your car will most likely be different to that of the car you learned to drive in. So when you try to do a reverse park, be careful and don’t feel bad if you end up still two miles away from the kerb, or alternatively backing into the kerb. You got your licence – they can’t fail you now! Practice makes perfect.
  • Re. the above point: driving into a space is much easier than parallel parking.
  • If you’re parked on a camber on a downward incline, even when you put your car in reverse, it’ll roll forward a little bit. So leave yourself room to do this. If you have no room, get a kind parent to reverse the car while you push forward on the front to stop the car rolling forward and hitting the car in front. This is the kind of mistake you only make once (I hope!).
  • Learn where the speed cameras are. Once you’re more confident, you will learn when you can speed up a little bit (obviously not too much!) over the limit, and when you need to slow down.
  • Driving on the motorway is just like driving on a dual carriageway. It’s basically driving in a straight line at a high speed for an extended period of time. It’s nothing to be afraid of! Just use the signs along the way to your advantage.
  • Don’t sit in the middle lane on the motorway. It’s irritating.
  • Don’t leave your fog lights on for extended periods of time. Turn them on for foggy patches, turn them off when your visibility improves.
  • Don’t worry about being in the wrong lane. If you realise you are in the wrong lane, keep calm and indicate to get to where you need to be (or follow the road round if there is no alternative and try and loop back as soon as possible). Most of the time, you’ll get an opportunity to filter into the right lane – either because someone takes pity on you or because the traffic passes. I apparently have the directional sense of a wombat and I still get places in the end! Remember: even if you get lost for 5 minutes, it is quicker than getting the bus! And you can always buy a sat nav.

And most importantly: ENJOY driving! We passed our tests, we spend ridiculous money on lessons to get here, we pay a premium for petrol, insurance and the vehicle itself. We earned this. Have fun!

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ready for the good times.

August 7, 2009

I always have a fear that when I start writing so much about my personal life, or even about things which aren’t necessarily personal to me but involve my own thoughts or opinions on a particular matter, I might become a little bit negative or depressed. It’s happened before; I remember when I was 17 and my mother and I had a tempestuous relationship particularly during that time, she found my diary and read all the thoughts about how I felt trapped, how I was upset at her emotional games, and also how I had a massive crush on my teacher and we were quite close… (but not like that, which I had to make clear to far too many people!) It was hard, but it made me see that the more I fixate on certain matters or certain themes, the more I get caught up in a negative cycle.  Perhaps I’ve broken out of it now, I’m 6 years older and in a healthier and happier place (though still not satisfied 😉 ), but I don’t want to tempt fate.  I’m like anyone, sometimes I’m down, and I write about it.  I fall in love and get my heart broken, and I write about it.  I don’t really hide anything on this blog, you read it and you’re reading a little part of who I am.  So as well as the downs, I just want to be thankful and appreciative of the ups.

After talking to Davina and Karina about my heart and R (and already knowing what they would say about it), we went to watch The Hangover.  I knew I would hate it, and I did, though there were a couple of parts which got me to chuckle nevertheless.  I was unimpressed by the film and my mind began to wander.  Me and R had been texting during the day (work was boring yesterday) and then my phone ran out of battery so I couldn’t text him back… I was wearing the Opium again and I’d had a boring day at work, which wasn’t proving to be what I expected.  So I was down.

Today has been a totally different story.  I got a cheap lunch at Subway thanks to a great radio promotion on Heart Radio (£1.20 for a 6″ sub & medium drink, bargain!), I had a great day at work as my boss was working from home, I got computer access and I didn’t have to do so much lifting.  The sun was shining all day, I looked nice in my Prada sunglasses and maroon tshirt, and when I got home, I found that my hopes had come true and I have secured funding for university and my Careers Guidance course.  I am so happy and so relieved, because although I would have gotten a loan from the bank had I not received funding, obviously I prefer not to have to pay the money back!!!  I am hoping to use the extra money to finally get my driving licence and get on the road!!!  So things are looking up, and I want to just make a record that I am grateful and I try to absorb the positivity to counter the negativity that I encounter and sometimes can’t help but take in.