Do’s and Don’ts of Learning to Drive

So, you’ve finally reached the age of 17 and you’re dead excited because you’ve got your provisional driving licence. It’s time to do away with taking trips on the bus or train, and start to learn how to drive. This is one of the most important milestones in a teenager’s life, and whilst it can be daunting (learning anything new can be), it does mean that once you’ve passed your test, you can finally get out on the open road.

The sense of freedom feels like it’s within your reach but, I’m getting ahead of myself here. First of all, you need to know how to handle a car, and not only that, understand just how important it is that you stay safe.  You will need to learn important skills like decision making, and believe it or not, hand-eye co-ordination.

The purpose of this piece is to give you some idea of the do’s and don’ts of learning to drive. The number of cars on the road rises every single year, and congestion is a problem. This is why you have to learn not only how to handle a car but, that you’re confident enough to deal with any situation that might arise.

The Do’s and Don’ts

DO get yourself a professional driving instructor and DON’T ask you Mum, Dad or a friend to teach you. Below are some of the reasons why:

Using a Professional

  • A professional instructor is highly trained in the use all types of roads from country lanes to the motorway.
  • They also have the advantage of knowing what the local testing centre is currently looking for.
  • They are taught to stay calm in just about any situation and, believe me, there will be some close calls along the way, that’s what learning is all about.

Using a Close Family Member or Friend

  • It doesn’t matter how safe a driver is, they will pick-up the odd bad habit here and there. If you choose to go out in a car with a friend or family member these habits will more than likely be passed on to you which will not help when you come to take your test.
  • The person sat beside you probably owns the car you’re driving, and it won’t help their stress levels if you “scratch” a gear or hit the accelerator instead of the brakes.
  • People that are close to you are not trained to deal with high pressure situations on the road like a driving instructor is and this could lead to both of you getting into a panic.
  • Finally, you will probably end up arguing. It can be very irritating for you when someone is constantly saying “you don’t do it like that”.

In Conclusion

Learning to drive is exciting but it’s also vital you take it seriously. After all, you’re not just responsible for you own life on the road; you’re responsible for others as well!


Driving in the Countryside

You may think that no matter where you chose to drive be it in town, in the countryside, or on the motorway that driving is just driving. You would be wrong. Each of these areas has hazards which if you are not used to could potentially cause accidents if you are not prepared. So, for those who spend most of their time driving around built up areas like the centre of town, here are a few things to consider when driving in the countryside.

Country Roads are a lot different from those you find in a town centre. Yes they are made of the same asphalt, but that is probably where the similarities end. Many of them do not have a curb and their markings may just consist of the middle white line. The dirt they attract is also very different often making the surface more slippery.

Another thing to remember is that country roads tend to have more plants bordering them. Many of them will be lined with the likes of tall hedgerows and conifers, which mean that you will experience many more blind corners. Along with this comes their width. A lot of country roads are narrower than those in built up town areas so be aware that your may need to reduce your speed considerably in order for other vehicles to pass by.

Country Vehicles can be very varied. Whilst most people who live in the country will own a car, there will be many vehicles used by companies and industries which tend to be located in the country. Take for example farm vehicles like tractors. They are extremely slow and their use means that they don’t just use the roads. You will find them entering and exiting fields whose entrances may not be obvious to you.

Remember also the type of work the likes of tractors are used for and the fact many of them do not carry their load enclosed and it is these loads that often spill over slightly onto the road and the fact that they get used in farmland, the road surfaces in the country are often much more “muddier” than those found round town. This can make for quite a precarious road surface in adverse weather conditions.

Other Road Users in the country do not just consist of vehicles and pedestrians. Bearing in mind most country settings will house various farming communities, you will often find that not only are you sharing the road with horses but also many of the farm yard animals like cows, pigs and sheep when they are being moved from one location to another. You should also be prepared for those that have decided to venture out on their own!

Driving in the country is very much a different experience altogether than driving around town. Whilst the surroundings may be more picturesque and charming, don’t be fooled that the driving conditions are just as laid back. If anything there is more dangers you could fall fowl of. Wherever you drive you need to have respect for the communities around you and all the road users these communities have to offer.