As promised (rather hoped for) in the previous post, the 3rd edition in this series comes with experiences from behind the wheel. Yes, I have had my first real hands-on driving lessons. Here are some of the learnings made from the driver's seat.
- #1 - Having a experienced and professional driving instructor helps - a LOT. He knows exactly what kind of mistakes first time driver would make, what kind of roads to take to begin handling the car etc. I received an informative ten minute talk on the basic driving equipment and their usage. And then only was I allowed to start.
- #2 - The key to a driving is good handling of the clutch combined with the accelarator. I wasn't driving at a very great speed, but hardly needed to use the brake. Having good control of the clutch is an essential pre-requisite for a good driver. (Proud moment - Not once did the car stall while starting due to sudden clutch release)
- #3 - While changing gears, you don't really need to look at the gear handle. Its better to keep your eyes on the road and the mirrors.
- #4 - Use the horn a lot. At turnings, at turns, at busy parts of the road. Better to warn the person ahead, that an inexperienced fellow is driving the car instead of putting them at risk. Also gives sufficient warning to others.
- #5 - Practise and practice more. I actually jumped at a chance to get an extra session on the 1st day itself. It makes you more comfortable and eases out the nerves as well.
- #6 - Keep your speed low. It enables better control always. Lower the speed, lower the severity of any incident.
- #7 - Align the steering wheel to the road ahead. But this is easier said than done. Quite likely to overdo this simple thing.
- #7 - Learn about your car. Keep reading the manual whenever you get a chance. Even a simple thing like opening and closing the bonnet over the engine becomes complex. For opening, there is button near the front door on the driver's side which release the bonnet. Then you go and unlatch it manually. For closing the bonnet needs to be dropped from a certain height. It just does not latch up if pressed down.
Have to say, it was an exhilirating feeling to be driving a vehicle for the first time ever. The thrill of feeling the car move with me at controls is bit undescribale. Have to say this, learning to drive a car seems to be a simpler task than learning to drive a 2-wheeler. (Guess the brain feels safer being inside a stabler vehicle).
Some of the highlights -
- able to get the car moving at the first attempt itself
- not stalling the car during driving
- making a U-turn at the lights (Yes I did that)
- reverse driving (with the aid of the the instructor)
- taking an uphill blind turn
More driving sessions coming up and am certainly looking forward to them.