10 Awkward Driving Lesson Moments

Awkward Driving Lesson Moments

When you are learning to drive, you are bound to make some mistakes. Everybody does it, and most of the time, it’s fine. But every driving instructor has plenty of stories about serious blunders that some of their students have made.

The dynamic between a driving instructor and a student can be a little strange at first as well because you are in such a confined environment with somebody that you barely know. That means that there is a lot of potential for awkward moments during driving lessons.

These are the 10 most awkward driving lesson moments you will have to deal with.

Small Talk 

It’s always awkward trying to hold a conversation with somebody that you don’t really know that well, but you usually have a quick escape route if you bump into them in the street. But when you are having a driving lesson, you are stuck in the car together with no way out.

After a few lessons, things will get easier once you get to know them a bit but it’s going to be awkward to begin with. Driving instructors are used to this so it’s likely that they’ll have a stock of questions that they ask to move things along a bit. 

Getting The Wrong Name 

This one can happen on either side, but it’s less likely that you’ll forget the driving instructors name because it’s usually written on the side of the car. The instructor, on the other hand, gives a lot of driving lessons each day and it’s likely that some of their students have similar names, which means they might get yours wrong. It’s always a little awkward to correct somebody for the first time, but it’ll be way more awkward if you let it slide and they continue calling you the wrong name for months before eventually seeing your real name on some paperwork. 

Picking Your Nose 

Most of us don’t like to admit it, but when nobody is around, we sometimes like to have a little scratch around in our nose. We’re not like little kids with a finger buried up there, but we’d still rather that nobody else saw us. The problem is, when you are concentrating on the road, you might forget that somebody else is sitting right next to you and decide to have a dig around. 

Forgetting Your Lesson 

Picture the scene, you’re all tucked up in bed enjoying a relaxing Saturday morning and suddenly, the doorbell goes. So, you get up and drag yourself to the door in your pajamas, only to find your driving instructor on the other side. You’re embarrassed because they’ve seen you in your pajamas and they’re frustrated that you’re late. Next time, just set a reminder on your phone. 

Not Knowing Left And Right 

When you’re driving and your instructor starts giving you directions, it’s always a bit awkward if you don’t know left and right. The first few times, they might put it down to nerves, but eventually, you’ll just have to admit it and ask for help. 

Driving Past Your Ex 

Bumping into an ex is always awkward, but it’s so much worse if you drive past them on a driving lesson. They’re watching you, hoping that you’ll stall the car so they can laugh at you. Your driving instructor will probably notice that something is up, which makes it all the more awkward when they ask if you know each other. The best thing to do is just focus on the road and try to ignore them. 

Driving Past Your Friends

Driving past your ex is bad, but driving past your friends can be even worse. They’ll all be trying to distract you and you want to make sure that you look cool in front of them, which is never going to happen. Again, the best thing to do is try to ignore them.  

Repeatedly Stalling

Everybody stalls from time to time, that’s normal. But things get awkward when you’re sitting at a junction with a long line of traffic building up behind you and you keep stalling over and over. Eventually, your driving instructor will have to take over so they can get the flow of traffic moving and you’ll be left feeling embarrassed. 

Needing The Toilet

Rule number one, always go to the toilet before your lesson. It’s always an awkward situation when you have to ask your driving instructor if you can stop the lesson and find somewhere to go to the toilet halfway through. It’s even more awkward if they’re the one that needs to go. 

Failing Your Test 

It always feels awkward when you have to tell your instructor that you have failed your test and you need more driving lessons. But you’ve got to remember that driving instructors have a lot of students, and a lot of them fail, so there’s no need to worry about it really. 

You’re going to experience some of these awkward moments at some point during your driving lessons, so prepare yourself. 

 

What to expect on your first driving lesson

What to expect on your first driving lesson

Your first driving lesson is a big milestone and you’re probably pretty excited about it, but it’s also very nerve wracking. Taking control of a car is a big deal, and it’s a lot of responsibility to take on. In the lead up to your first lesson, you will invent so many hypothetical scenarios in your own head, most of them bad. What happens if I crash the car? What if I accidentally run somebody over? What if I can’t even get it started in the first place? It’s so easy to think of the worst case scenario and get worried about your first driving lesson, but the reason that you have driving instructors is so you are safe and you don’t make any of these dangerous mistakes. 

If you are concerned about your first driving lesson, it helps if you know what to expect and how to prepare yourself properly. That way, you are not in for any surprises and you will be less worried about what might happen. Here’s what you can expect from your first driving lesson. 

Preparing Yourself 

Before you start the first lesson, there are a few important things you should do to prepare. First off, make sure that you get a good night’s sleep the night before. You need to be alert when driving, so being tired will make things difficult for you. Secondly, make sure that you are not drinking the night before your first lesson. Even if it is just a few drinks, this can still affect your cognitive ability and your reaction times in the morning. Finally, eat a good breakfast before you have your lesson because you will find it harder to concentrate if you are hungry. 

There are also a few things that you should bring with you on your driving lessons. You will need your provisional driving license, some comfy shoes that have good grip, and glasses if you wear them. Don’t forget to bring cash or a cheque to pay for your lesson as well. Driving instructors won’t work for free, but if you do happen to forget, they’ll probably let you off until next time. 

Getting Picked Up

You need to arrange the pick up with the driving instructor before the lesson because some instructors will wait in the car while others will come to the door. When they do pick you up, you won’t have to get in the driver’s seat right away, so you can just relax. You’ll get in the passenger side and they will drive you to a safe location. 

The Cockpit Drill

Most driving instructors will take you to a specific place that they know is quiet, before switching seats with you so you are in the driver’s seat. Before they let you loose on the controls, they will take you through the cockpit drill. This is the set of checks that you need to do every time you get into the car. 

You can remember these checks using the acronym, DSSSM: 

  • Doors – Are the doors securely closed? 
  • Seat – Is the seat in a comfortable position? 
  • Steering – Is the steering position correct? 
  • Seatbelts – Does everybody in the car have their seatbelt on?
  • Mirrors – Are all of the mirrors adjusted correctly? 

It’s a good idea to try to memorize this before you have your first driving lesson so you already know what you’re doing, but all driving instructors will take you through it step by step anyway. 

Learning The Basics 

Once all of your checks are completed, your driving instructor will start taking you through the basics. They will run through the clutch, accelerator, and brakes, and show you how to use the handbrake and change gears. If there is anything that you are unsure about here, it’s perfectly fine to ask if they can run through it again. It’s important that you know what you are doing before you set off because, even if you are only going 20mph, it’s still going to be scary if you don’t feel in control of the vehicle. It’s a good idea to make your first driving lesson 2 hours long, so you have enough time to get to know the controls and get some driving in. 

Hitting The Road 

Now that you know how all of the basic controls in the car work, it’s time to put it into practice and hit the road. This is the most exciting, but also the most nerve wracking part of the lesson. But don’t worry, your instructor will be there every step of the way. 

In your first driving lesson, you will learn a few key procedures that your driving instructor will explain before you set off. These will include: 

  • Starting the engine. 
  • Clutch control. More specifically, finding the biting point. 
  • Checking your mirrors and your blind spot. 
  • Using indicators to signal. 
  • Changing gear. 
  • Bringing the car to a safe stop. 
  • Curb side parking. 

These are the basics of operating a car and, hopefully, you should feel confident enough to move onto the road and try some real driving by the end of your first lesson. Keep in mind that your driving instructor will have their own set of controls for the car, so you don’t need to worry if you feel overwhelmed and they need to take over. 

After Your First Driving Lesson 

When the lesson is over, your driving instructor will drop you back at home. At this point, they will have a discussion with you about how the lesson went, and tell you some of the things that you can improve on next time. Make sure that you listen carefully and take note of everything because you may be able to study up on some of these things at home between lessons. 

Before you leave, it’s time to book your next lesson. Ideally, you should minimize time between lessons and try to have 2 or 3 a week if your schedule allows it. 

 

Congratulations, you’ve successfully made it through your very first driving lesson and you are well on the way to passing your test. 

Stopping Distances Explained

Understanding stopping distances

Understanding stopping distances

Understanding stopping distances is one of the most important parts of learning to drive safely. Leaving enough space between you and the car in front will help to prevent accidents and avoid unnecessary incidents. Keep reading to discover what factors affect stopping distance and how you can easily adopt the best techniques to maintain safe driving practises.

Thinking distance

Stopping distance is the distance it takes you to stop your car, but it is made up of two components: braking distance and thinking distance.

Thinking distance is the time it takes you to realise that there is a problem before you can start applying the brakes. The faster you are travelling, the greater distance you will cover before being able to come to a full stop.

You may think that you would apply pressure to the brake pedal as soon as you notice a hazardous obstacle, but this is not true.

No matter how fast your reaction time, there will always be a delay between when you first notice a hazard, and when you take action.

There will even be a short amount of time between when you first see the hazard and when your brain recognises that it is a problem.

This is especially common when you are not paying attention to the road properly and if you are distracted by passengers, music, the radio or a speakerphone.

On average, thinking distance at 20mph is approximately 6m, but if you are travelling at 40mph this doubles to 12m!

So, as you double your speed, you are also doubling your thinking time. Ensuring that you pay close attention to the road and other road users is essential if you want to minimise thinking time.

Ho

wever, even under optimum conditions, it still takes time to take action when you notice there is a problem, so this must factor into your stopping time calculations.

Braking distance

Braking distance

Braking distance is the amount of distance your car will cover before coming to a complete stop after you have started braking.

Although at 20mph it will only be 6m, at 40mph the braking distance becomes a whopping 24m!

Remember, in order to calculate overall stopping distance, you will need to add the braking distance and thinking distance together. So, if you are travelling at a 40mph speed, then the combined stopping distance (on average) will be 36 metres.

Obviously, the faster you are travelling, the longer it will take you to stop, so at 70mph, the overall stopping distance is a massive 96 metres. Bear in mind that the average car length is around 4.5m, so at 70mph you will be driving the equivalent length of over 21 cars before you can stop!

The two-second rule

Most driving instructors talk about the two-second rule to help estimate safe following distances.

The two-second rule involves checking that you have left a two-second gap between yourself and the car in front.

This can be worked out by choosing a landmark in the road ahead and timing how long it takes you to reach it, once the car in front has passed it.

Things that affect stopping distance

Stopping distances can be affected by many things, such as following distances, driver distraction, road condition and the condition of your car.

However, the most common issue affecting stopping distance is adverse weather. Rain, ice and snow can all have a dramatic impact on how long it takes your car to stop in the case of an emergency.

The two-second rule applies at any speed, however, should not be used if driving in adverse weather conditions.

In rainy driving conditions, for instance, you should employ the four-second rule in order to maintain a safe distance from the car in front.

When driving on icy roads, stopping distances can be unpredictable.

Therefore, driving speed should be dramatically reduced, and plenty of space should be left between vehicles.

Top 10 Most Difficult Theory Test Questions

Most Difficult Theory Test Questions

When learning to drive, everyone now has to get past the theory test as well as the practical one. Many people find the theory test daunting and something that they do not look forward too.

Your driving theory test should not really pose any problems though with the right preparation in place. One thing to watch out for is those annoyingly tough questions that seem designed to trip you up.

To help out, the below shows 10 of the most mind-bending theory test questions to look out for.

1. When should you not overtake?

– After navigating a bend
– On a road with a 30mph speed limit
– When driving down a 1-way street
– When the road you are driving down has a dip in it

This question is tricky because all of the answers may well be valid reasons not to overtake! For the purposes of your theory test though, it is the last answer which is right.

2. When travelling on a dry road at 50 mph in decent weather, what is the standard average stopping distance?

– 36 metres
– 75 metres
– 96 metres
– 53 metres

If you are not confident with math, then this could be a tough one for you. You need to remember that stopping distance is equal to thinking distance combined with braking distance.

At 50mph, your thinking distance is 15 metres while 38 metres is the braking distance which makes 53 metres the correct answer.

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3. What colour comes after Green on Puffin crossings?

– intermittent amber
– constant red
– constant amber
– intermittent green

Puffin crossings use sensors which can tell when people are crossing. This means there is no need for intermittent or flashing lights – the right answer is a constant amber.

4. When towing a compact-sized trailer on a packed 3 lane motorway, you notice all lanes being open. Should you:

– not go over 50mph
– decide not to overtake anyone
– fit a stabiliser
– stick to the centre and left lanes

While you may think all sound plausible, it is actually the last answer that is the one to pick.

5. In terms of road transport, what percentage of emissions does it account for?

– 20%
– 10%
– 40%
– 30%

This fools people as it is more of a general knowledge question than a pure driving one. While 10% would seem too little with so much traffic about but 40% may be too much, it is sensible to go more down the middle. 20% is the correct reply in this case.

6. If involved in a road incident, it is vital to care for any injured parties. After the scene of the incident is secure, you should:

– Help them from their vehicle
– Offer them something to drink
– Offer them some food
– Make them stay in their vehicle

This comes across as quite an easy one but it is key to not jump in without thinking it through. The last answer is correct as the area is safe in this particular instance.

7. When driving, you observe a pedestrian walking a dog. The dog has a burgundy or yellow coat. This tells you that the person is:

a) A senior citizen

b) Training the dog

c) Is colour blind

d) Deaf

This is quite an obscure one which is why it catches so many out! The correct answer is deaf – make sure to brush up on this kind of question before your theory test.

8. While waiting to turn left, you see a larger vehicle approaching from your right. You could go ahead and turn, but instead, wait. Why is this?

– The larger vehicle could be hiding others from the left
– It could be hiding a vehicle that is overtaking it
– It may decide to turn abruptly
– The larger vehicle may have trouble steering straight

The larger vehicle could easily be hiding another vehicle which is overtaking it so the second option is the answer you want.

9. When is it acceptable to overtake another road user on their left?

– Driving along one-way streets
– Coming up to a motorway slip road at which you plan to exit
– After a vehicle you are behind has signalled to make a left turn
– If a slow vehicle is in the lane on the right when traversing a dual carriageway

Although the presence of ‘right’ and ‘left in different answers may confuse you, do not let it. The right response here is the first.

10. Questions about road signs

While there is no specific example here, it is just a good idea to brush up on all your road signs. Any could crop up on your theory test and you could be asked what they mean. While the more common ones may be obvious, it is the less widely known examples that could trip you up.

Get ready to pass with flying colours

The above are certainly the 10 hardest sorts of question which you could face on your theory test. When you really think about them though and do your homework, they actually aren’t that scary. One thing is for sure – if you get these right, then the other questions will be no problem.