You have officially reached that stage of your life, and you are ready to climb in the driver’s seat and claim your independence. This is a huge moment in your life, and a big responsibility to take on, as your driving skills can determine your safety and the safety of others on the road.
For some, this responsibility seems daunting, and for others it’s pure excitement and adrenaline. No matter what side of the fence you are on, you need to know what to expect and how to approach this important occasion.
When booking your appointment, it’s crucial to know which vehicle you will be driving on the day. Whether it’s the driving instructor’s, your parents or your own car, make sure that you have read the user manual and have a sound understanding of how the vehicle operates. You should know where all the buttons and switches are and know exactly what each one does.
Having a better understanding of your vehicle will give you more confidence when driving it on the road. There’s nothing worse than a panicked driver who is constantly looking for switches and turning the wipers on when they were actually looking for the indicators.
Always be prepared for anything on the day. The instructor might take you on a route or a detour where there are potholes where there weren’t any before. Don’t assume because you have driven a road a few times that it will be exactly the same. Prepare yourself for traffic, road blocks, potholes, pedestrians and the weather. Having a calm and alert attitude could pay off when it comes to your final mark.
Learning and understanding your co-ordination for your foot pedals is an important part of driving, and the better your foot co-ordination, the more confident you will be behind the wheel. The more practice the better in this situation, learners often get penalised because they can’t react fast enough when breaking and accelerating and are too jumpy as their footwork below is uncoordinated and confused. The good news is practise makes perfect, and once you got the hang of it you will never lose it.
Always keep in mind what the speed limit is, an 80km/h zone can very quickly change to a 60km/h zone and if you are not alert you might just miss the sign. Give yourself enough time to break when approaching a speed bump as some cars are lower than others and taken at a higher speed it can leave you with a rather unpleasant trip and an unimpressed driving instructor.
Another important tip is not to try and impress the driving instructor with small talk, it might turn out to be a conversation that you’ll regret having. Instead, focus all your time and energy on the task at hand, and impress him with your driving rather than with your mouth.
If you drive well and pass your test, then you have done everything correctly and the instructor is satisfied with your driving skills, but keep in mind, the learning doesn’t stop there. Over time you will grow with confidence and will be able to tackle the open roads as a safe and responsible driver.
If you fail, it’s important that you determine exactly why you failed. Ask the instructor where you went wrong and what you can work on. Focus on those areas and make sure that you have practised and can confidently rectify your mistakes.
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