Blog: The Road To L
(Behind The Wheel With A Learner Driver)
Given that my only previous experience of driving was doing circuits of an empty field in an older friend’s car, being thrust into Norwich’s outskirts (albeit on a quiet estate) was understandably terrifying. But being timid and nervous is probably a far better place to start than taking the wheel with brash over-confidence - mistakes are inevitable and at slower speed at least they don't (at least to date) end with a prang!
For a nervous young driver, the thought of being let loose on public roads with obstacles like parked cars, lampposts and pedestrians was a shock. I had imagined that a disused airfield - or similar - was a far more appropriate place for me to learn how to control a car than a real, live road where I could potentially cause serious injury. Added to the busy environment, the thing that every first-time driver quickly realises is that driving is an awful lot more difficult than parents and older friends make it look! Even pulling away from the kerb without your stomach turning over and the gearbox growling is a challenge. Also, any aspiring Lewis Hamiltons out there should take note - your driving video game of choice bears absolutely no relation whatsoever to driving an actual car on an actual road!
When I got over the original terror, steering turned out to be something I quickly got the hang of. Despite a couple of near misses when turning into side roads, my instructor was impressed with my progress. Gears, on the other hand, proved to be more of a stumbling block! Emily, an excellent teacher (whether she reads this or not), said that many of my mistakes would be solved by automatic transmission and that I had a "bad relationship" with first gear!
So, first lesson out of the way and a whole hour of driving under my seat belt. Verdict: On the plus side, happy not to have hit anything or anyone and that Emily didn't seem to be suffering from any form of nervous disorder at the end of the lesson. On the down side, a bit worried that about this gear changing thing...wonder what does happen after first gear?
Next lesson coming soon.