Thursday, 18 September 2014

My Learning-To-Drive Journey - Chapter Eight, Nine and Ten

Reversing, Turn In The Road, & Dual Carriageways

Hours: 10 & 11, 12 & 13, 14 &15

2 Hour Lessons x 3
Tuesday 2nd, Tuesday 9th, Tuesday 16th September 2014.

WOW I have been missing-in-action, it been a busy few weeks and I have been procrastinating on a lot of things, don't we all sometimes? 

So where where we? Last time I was still a pretty bad driver. Now, I shall be ready to take my test around the end of October/November. Booking in the next 2/3 lessons, so the instructor says.



Tuesday 2nd September Hours 10 & 11
Reversing around corners.

Driving from home again, on the main road to a different town, finally exploring! It so exciting and you can get places so fast! (typically I walk everywhere so its super slow and I'm limited to places I can go)

 The main part of today after we had arrived in the next town, was to do reversing round corners. So... after my horrendous steering reversing a straight line in my previous lesson. I was surprised to find I was good at some part of driving! I managed to fly through the driving-round-corners-backwards section on my tick list. 

A Reverse round a corner is used for turning round. 
If on a main road, turn into a side road then use a junction off one of those. Never reverse into a main road or reverse out from a junction.
Everyone will be taught differently, but this is how my instructor has taught me.
This is for a left hand reverse.
  • Pulling up on the left hand side of the road approximately 2 car lengths away from the junction. A drains width away from the kerb. (Don't forget your indicator!)
  • Checking all around start reversing until you can no longer see the kerb (at the corner of the junction) in your left wing mirror.
  • Pause, check all around again, perhaps throw a look over you shoulder now and then when you get good.
  • Start reversing again and turn the wheel one whole turn to the left.
  • Reverse until you can see the kerb in the left wing mirror.
  • Continue to be aware of what is around you, take a look over your shoulder.
  • Straighten up when turning the wheel to or from the kerb as you feel necessary using your left wing mirror to judge your distance (one drains width away).
  • End up around 2 cars distance from the junction. 
  • Change into first, pull away and use junction as normal.
All of this when super duper for me. The first time was prompted, my driving instructor went through the above instructions with me. Second time I failed as half way round my corner someone came from the junction I was reversing into. (any time a car is coming when you are in a manoeuvre remember to stop and allow the other driver to do what they want to do, its safer this way believe me)  That put me right off as they where not patient and they swerved round me. 
Third time. PERFECT. 
Fourth time - Harder corner PERFECT.
Fifth time (my instructor was adamant he would find a corner that was super hard and I would fail on.) PERFECTO! =D

Dang I am a natural!

(Gotta be good at something haven't I haha) 


Tuesday 9th September Hours 12 & 13
3 Point Turns and Parallel Parking. 

Today was good, 3 point turns / Turn in the road (which is what they are called since you can do it in more than 3 moves, but in your test, you may get a minor for rubbish control of your vehicle if you do it in more moves, basically lol)

Also Parallel parking, which is great, it was good that my previous lesson involved my reversing round the corner because essentially its the same with less turning. Now that's called lesson planning haha.

A Reverse park, which is the other name for it, is something I've been finding particularly hard to put down in writing... I'll Give it a go.

(in the practical test there the examiner may or may not choose a time when there will be another car behind the yellow space. You still have to park as though there is one)

I have just pulled up to the side of this car and I would like to park in the yellow space behind it. I line my wing mirrors up with the front of the parked car to give myself time to do the manoeuvre.
Lining the wing mirrors of your care, up with the end of the parked car (in red)

Using your left back windows as a guide, reverse till you can see the parked cars back lights in the bottom left corner.
Start reversing till you can see the parked cars back lights in the bottom right corner of your back left window.
 One full turn to the left swings your bum in. Keep going diagonally towards the kerb. Till you think you are about there.

This triangle, highlighted in red in the below picture is an imaginary triangle.
 You will see this shrinking in the left wing mirror when you swing your wheel back to the right to get your nose in. 
The triangle is comprised of the kerb, and the left side of the car. It will slowly shrink becoming a squashed triangle as you get closer to the kerb. Since you may not be able to see the kerb as you swing in you use this as your guide to know how far to continue until you straighten up.

 You should finish up something like this. a good distance away from the kerb. Parked.

What we call 'Tyres and tarmac'
(literally you can see the tyres and about two finger widths of tarmac under the tyres of the car in front, unless you have super fat fingers tee-hee)
Shuffling into space, if you have done it perfectly you shouldn't need to shuffle
but if you have room you can straighten up and get closer.

Don't end up too far back, imagine you have a car behind you!


Same day, another Manoeuvre.

Turn in the Road.

Turn in the road was easy peasy, it seems worrying because there is so much clutch control and gear work but it was simple :)

  • Start pulled up at the side of the road. The closer the better, more space to turn!
  • Check EVERYWHERE. Honestly things pop up from everywhere. Pedestrians, dodgy car drivers, and cyclists to name a few.
  • Gear 1, moving slowly turn steering wheel all the way to the right, till it locks, this is about 2 and a half turns?
  • Approaching the other side of the road slowly, do not touch the kerb. 
  • If the road has a slop (for drainage, what's this called again?) you'll feel it :)
  • As you approach where you'd like to stop take off some of your steering, this makes it easier to do the next bit.
  • A Good way to judge where the front of your car is, if its not a big nosed car, is to have the kerb running paralleled with your right wing mirror.
Showing the handy trick of wing mirror line ups.
  • Put car in reverse, continue backwards and turn steering wheel all the way to the left, go slowly giving yourself time to react and steer that car baby!
  • All this time you've been careful looking out for hazards right? ;)
  • Take the car back to where you want to be, do not hit the kerb. This is just judgement, it gets better over time.
  • As you get to the end of your reversing take off the steering a bit to help you out in the next bit.
  • Steering all the way to the right and you should make it, unless it really was a tight squeeze.
  • in which case just reverse and go again, you shouldn't need too much :)
That's it, I managed this second time round, third time round I started too far out in the road so I made it in 5 which would have been a minor in the practical exam.


Tuesday 16th September Hours 14 & 15
Dual carriageways, Sliproads and BIG Roundabouts.

Oh My Gosh, I was sweating on this one!

Not trying to scare anyone but big busy roundabouts are nerve racking and I'd rather use my Flying Ford Anglia!

Giving way to the right is easy, but knowing where your lane is on the roundabout and where it goes to when there are no lanes painted!?! how?
I Shan't go into much on these large roundabout since they are the same as little one, you just have to pick your moment carefully, and not stall hahaha

Which I did,but the driving instructor was pretty impressed with my comeback as I was calmer than him! (really we weren't in any danger, I was still in the front of the que waiting to come out.) we got going again.

Slip roads and dual Carriage ways are easy just straighter and faster. Remember indicate early and use your mirrors a lot! Pull out where you can and plan your exit, don't go speeding to the end of a slip road and find you have no room to pull out!

So a few highlights of my lessons, good and bad:
  • Big roundabouts and going the national speed limit of 60MPH / 70MPH need some more confidence building.
  • I Must learn to pull closer to the kerb when I park, I think this stems from my first few lessons and killing the instructors wheels! (I'm just being a perfectionist)
  • Everything is almost signed off and my manoeuvres are exceptional!
  • I can book my test soon if my skills keep accelerating as they are! :)

So Excited that I Might hold my full driving license before my birthday!!

Next Lesson Friday 19th September 2014

Are you learning to drive? or are you taking your test soon?
Give me a shout and tell me how you're feeling. 

Still can't wait to get back in that car!

Much Love
(And please excuse my long absence, ill be back soon!)J4!
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