Archive for Driving

Driving Test – Read to find out if I passed…

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You want to know if I passed my driving test yesterday, don’t you?

Well the answer is…

Yes!  Woop woop!  So happy.  I honestly thought I had failed, because we went down a 60 road and there were these little speed signs that said 20mph “loose chippings” and after going 20mph for some time I thought to myself “what speed am I supposed to be going?!”  Turns out the signs were just “advisory” so it didn’t matter.  In total I had 7 minors, a couple were for approaching junctions too quickly and one was for not looking in my mirrors.  I can’t work out what the others were for nothing but they weren’t so serious that the examiner felt he had to say anything afterwards.

I start my Pass Plus next week, which I highly recommend to anyone once they’ve passed their test.  Don’t you think it’s insane, that before I passed my test, I wasn’t allowed to drive on the motorway, even with my instructor in the car, but now that I’ve passed, I’m suddenly allowed to drive on the motorway, on my own, having had no prior experience on motorways at all?   Personally I think Pass Plus should be mandatory.  It’s only 6 hours, there’s no test afterwards and it brings down your insurance a fair whack, which to a new driver is very helpful.

I can’t wait to drive on the motorway, it’s gonna be a blast.  I probably won’t do many more driving posts now that I’ve passed, but if I happen to crash and die on the motorway, I’ll be sure to let you know.  Not too sure how…


Final Lesson. Again.

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I felt kind of bad for not posting about my driving lessons for so long, but then I remembered that nobody is reading this.

I had my first test 2 weeks ago.  And I failed.  I know, I’m as surprised as you are.  I was so ready for it.  I only got 3 minors, but I failed on something really stupid.  I was on a road that turned into 2 lanes and as I moved over to the left lane I drove in the end of a red bus lane for like a second.  That’s an automatic fail.  My examiner also said I was driving too close to parked cars.  Not so close that he felt he needed to  grab the wheel, but close enough that he decided to fail me for it.

What annoyed me most (I’m not saying a shouldn’t have failed, I know I should have) is he said I should be driving a car door’s length away from parked cars at all times.  That is impossible.  If I had done that he would’ve failed me for driving on the wrong side of the road.  It’s just not always possible.  My instructor also said that he shouldn’t have let me drive in the bus lane.  Some of them have cameras and you can get a ticket for driving in them, like going through a red light.  If I had gone through a red light he would’ve put his foot on the brake and stopped me.  He should’ve done the same thing for the bus lane, rather then letting me think it was ok.

So I have my next test this Saturday in Skipton.  Skipton is a small town about an hour from where I live, but it’s the only test centre that doesn’t have a month or more waiting list for tests.  I’m going for my last (I hope) lesson today.  I drove over there last week to get the lay of the land.  It’s a lot easier to drive over there than here in Leeds.  So I feel pretty confident.  I think I’m dreading it slightly more because people generally expect you to fail first time.  I would’ve love to have passed first time but not many people do.  But now I’m onto my second test, expectations are high (from me anyway).  Failure is no longer an option.

Stay tuned.

Something is finally starting to click…

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Yesterday was my 12th driving lesson, and I think I’ve finally got the hang of parallel parking and reversing round corners.  For the last few lessons I’ve really struggled to do them on my own (without my ADI telling me which way to turn the steering wheel!), especially on my night lesson (driving in the dark was scary and awesome!).

But I think something has finally clicked because I did 2 parallel parks perfectly yesterday, and I reversed round 2 different corners with no problem!  The curb was in my side mirror the whole time which is a first, so I’m feeling pretty good right now, I feel like I could take the test tomorrow!  But I’ve got another 2 weeks yet, and loads more lessons so I’ll be totally ready.

Next driving post will be on Thursday after my next lesson.  That’s when I’ll find out if yesterday was just a fluke and I actually still suck and driving backwards…

Did I pass?

Just got home from taking my driving theory test.  Did I pass?

Yes.  Of course I did.  Was there ever any doubt?

No now that’s out of the way, I can concentrate and getting ready for my practical.  Holy cow that’s a scary thought.

For anyone who cares, I got 47/50 on my theory and 59/75 on the hazard perception.  I feel like I could’ve done better, but I passed so who cares right?

Gotta cram lots of lessons in now for the next 2 weeks, one every weekday if I can.  Fun but tiring.  I’ll keep you posted.

Lesson number 7 and my theory test

Just came back from my 7th lesson (hour 14) and it went great.  I have my theory test in an hour, so I’m a bit nervous.  I feel well prepared, but I just have a bad feeling that I’m gonna get all the questions I don’t know.

I also felt pretty confident with the hazard perception until this morning.  I was consistently getting 4 or 5 marks for each one, and then this morning I managed to get a 0.  That’s right, a big fat goose egg.  I didn’t even see the hazard at all!  As long as I don’t get 14 clips like that though, I should be fine.

If I pass today, my instructor wants to put me straight in for my practical, which would be in about 2 weeks.  2 weeks?! =:o I’ve only been doing this for 2 and a half weeks.  Granted by the time my test comes I’ll have done as many hours again as I’ve already had, but still.  I am scared.

So I’ll let you all know (all 0 of you who are reading this) how my test goes later this afternoon, and then I’ll fill you in on the Mika get last Sunday, whoo!

4th lesson – perfecting the 3-point turn (sorry, I mean the turn in the road)

Just got home from my 4th lesson.  I’ve already learned all 3 maneuvres, but today I perfected them.  Mostly.  Sort of.

I can do a turn in the road no problem, easiest one as far as I’m concerned (though I haven’t tried it on a busy road yet)  Parallel parking is also a doddle (I thought they’d actually try and make you park between 2 cars, isn’t that the point?)  And my reversing needs a little work but the instructor seems pretty happy anyway.

I drove through Harehills today.  Fortunately I know the roads quite well but navigating them in a car is a different matter.  There was a white van driver behind me (you know the type) and he tooted his horn as I was pulling away from the traffic lights.  I wasn’t even going that slowly!  He made me nervous and scared.  Van drivers are mean 😦

Other than that though I had a great time, got up to 50 on a stretch of road, 40 already feels really slow!  One thing I’ve noticed is that I keep forgetting what gear I’m in and I hate having to look down to see.  Wish there was something on the dash to tell me…

I also learned the “show me tell me” portion of the test today.  All very straight forward.  I think I was overcomplicating it.  One question was “how do you test your brakes are working” and I was like, hmm, is there a light somewhere in the car?  But apparently the answer is to… drive slowly and test the brakes.  Quite obvious really.  The way to test the brakes is to test the brakes.  Why didn’t I think of that?

And the way to test your brake lights?  I thought I was being funny when I said ask someone but apparently that’s the answer.  Ask someone.  Yeah.

So I’m not too worried about that part, I know where everything goes under the bonnet.  So I just need to take some more practice tests and I should be fine.  Oh here’s another funny one:

Q.  Your vehicle has broken down on an automatic railway crossing What should you do FIRST?

a. Get everyone out of the vehicle and clear of the crossing

b. Telephone your vehicle recovery service to move it

c. Try to push the vehicle clear of the crossing as soon as possible

or d…

Wait for it…

Walk along the track to give warning to any approaching trains.

Yes.  Some people think that when your car breaks down on a level crossing, you should WALK DOWN THE TRACK AND WARN THE TRAIN.  Good grief.

Ok ok just one more:

Q. You are on a motorway.  A large box falls onto the road from a lorry.  The lorry does not stop.  You should:

a. go to the next emergency telephone and report the hazard

b. stop close to the box until the police arrive

c. pull over to the hard shoulder, then remove the box


d. catch up with the lorry and try to get the driver’s attention.

I would love to see somebody trying to flag down a lorry on the motorway.  It would make my day.

Do people actually get these questions wrong?

Ok, so I’m studying for my driving theory test, and most of the questions are pretty straight forward, you just need a little common sense.

But some of the questions are, well, a little disturbing…

Here’s an example:

An adult casualty is not breathing.  To maintain circulation, compressions should be given.  What is the correct depth to press?

A. 1 to 2 centimetres
B. 4 to 5 centimetres
C. 10 to 15 centimetres
D. 15 to 20 centimetres

I had to read this question a couple of times.  Are there really people out there that think compressions should be 15 to 20 centimetres deep?!  Like the casualty doesn’t have enough problems not being able to breathe, let’s add broken ribs to the list.  Please people, if any of you think you can press down on someone’s ribcage 15 to 20 centimetres, never, ever, offer to help at the scene of an accident.

Which brings me to my next question – why are these questions on my DRIVING test?

There’s an entire section of questions under the category of accidents. Am I applying to drive a car or become a paramedic? Half of the questions start with “You arrive at the scene of an accident…” Why would I arrive at the scene of an accident?! I’m in a car. Could you imagine what would happen if there was a crash on the motorway, and every single new driver thought to themselves “I know what to do!” and pulled over to the hard shoulder to try and treat people with burns, and people who are unconscious? What is the DVLA thinking?

6 hours in, and I can do all 3 manoeuvres!

Today was my third driving lesson.  On my last lesson, I learned 3 point turns (or a turn in the road as they’re now called) and reversing round corners.  Aced them both.  Today I ventured out onto main roads, where there were speed bumps, parked cars everywhere, and roundabouts!  Ahhh!

Roundabouts weren’t quite as scary as I had imagined.  I even went onto the Ring Road and got up to 40mph!  Ooh!

Then I practiced parallel parking next to a BMW, and I did ok with that too.  Did it twice, no problem.  Then I drove myself home for the first time.

Ok, so in case anyone doesn’t know, driving rocks!

I have 3 more lessons next week and my theory test on the 24th.  If I pass first time, then I might put in for my test a couple of weeks after that, depending on my progress.  Man driving is awesome!

I’ll keep you posted with how my lessons are going.  Oh, and here’s a little plug for the company I’m learning with, cos they rock almost as much as driving does!

They’ve even loaned me the books I need for my theory test so I didn’t have to buy them myself.  And their prices are a steal too.