Forum: Advice / Cars & Driving

First driving lesson
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Wed Jun 02, 2010 04:07 PM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2010-06-03 05:56:31 profanity not allowed
Locked by SunshineFace (116683) on 2010-06-04 09:02:14 So, I had my lesson. They took me out on the road rather than a quiet area like they do most new drivers. It was a bit nerve wracking, but not as bad as I would have anticipated. The instructor said that I'll definitely be able to get my license this summer which is good. I'll schedule another lesson, and then do some driving with my mom and see how it all goes.

Well DDN,

I am finally going for my first driving lesson on Friday.

This summer, I have no choice but to get my license, especially since my dad currently can't drive (and won't be able to til at least August), I'll be working at Claire's as a keyholder and making my mom bring me to the bank at night to do the deposit is way out of the way for her on the way home (plus, I currently have to rely on her completely to get to/from both jobs since I live in BFE and there isn't any public transportation by me), and, I need to be more independent.

I'm pretty much scared out of my mind, but oh well. It's gotta be done.

21 Replies to First driving lesson

re: First driving lesson
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jun 02, 2010 04:17 PM
How often are you planning on taking lessons? Have you already scheduled a test? From your post it seems like your expecting to get your license within the next month and that likely isn't going to happen, especially because your scared. It might be doable, if you can get it in all the behind the wheel hours you need and are able to schedule a test (where I live there is often waiting lists for tests), but I honestly wouldn't expect you to be getting your license until late August. I'm not trying to say you can't do it, but I think you might need to talk to your mom about the possibility of you not getting your license until the end of the summer.
re: First driving lesson
By seacaptain
On Wed Jun 02, 2010 04:28 PM
I got my license at 19 - still had to do the 6 month permit thing. rules for this vary state-state but do check out the details, requirements, and timelines for getting a license.

You should be a little scared about driving - you are operating heavy machinery and the consequences of some mistakes are huge.

That said, as long as you're paying attention and know the rules, you'll be fine. Driving is not that hard, bit like sewing (with the pedal and keeping a straight line) or go karts. Once you understand how much pressure the gas needs to go x speed, how to apply the break for a smooth stop, and how sensative the steering wheel is, you've pretty much got it.

So, bottom line - it's not hard, it can be lots of fun, totally a life skill you need - might as well get it now!
re: First driving lesson
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Wed Jun 02, 2010 04:48 PM
I don't know how often I plan on taking lessons. I might not even take more than just a couple since my mom plans on having me drive home from work etc.

Waiting until the end of the summer isn't an option. I need my license like, a year ago.

I don't currently have a test scheduled, but I figure I'll be able to better gauge if I should schedule one or not after my lesson. Since it's summer, it'll probably be at least 3 or 4 weeks before there are any openings. My goal is to have my license by the second week of July.

Since I'm over 18, all of the rules about how long you need your permit and how many hours of driving you need no longer apply. I could have gotten my permit yesterday and taken the road test today...though I've already had my permit for nearly 2 years anyway. But no, while it is recommended that you have a bunch of hours, it is not a requirement.
re: First driving lesson
By iliahmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:39 AM
I think you should have started this earlier...or at least, give yourself more than a little over a month. It's going to be much easier for you to pass the test if you schedule more lessons. While it's not required for you because you're over 18, it's certainly recommended because it makes you a safer, more confident driver.

I got my permit at 15, and after 6 hours of mandatory hours with a driving instructor, and about 100 hours of practice with parents (over the course of about 9 months), I passed the road test after 3 tries when I was 16. Granted I had some nasty examiners who failed me on really little things my first two times...that's beside the point I'm trying to make. If I had to sit the road test 5 weeks after my first real lesson? I'd be SCARED. And from day one I was a very safe and cautious driver.

Also, summer is a pretty popular time for teenagers to try to get their licenses, so they might be pretty booked. Try to book an appointment as early as possible.

You need to:

A. Schedule more lessons even if they're not required and...
B. Give yourself a wider window to take the test.
C. Lower your expectations. Don't expect to pass by X month, X day. I was SO sure I was going to pass the first time. Had literally TWO small mistakes (out of the 15 allowed in CA) and I bump the curb 15 ft from the end. FAIL
re: First driving lesson
By schuhplattlerPremium member
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 03:07 AM
Keep your eye on the goal - the freedom that comes with the license!

And then promptly set another goal.
re: First driving lesson
By seacaptain
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:33 AM
Definitely schedule your test this week (i'd give yourself a few weeks to practice).

Try for two driving lessons a week plus practice with your mom. (driving lessons are really great as they are a pure learning environment - not much in the way of emotion since the teacher isn't related to you and has seen all the learners mistakes 1000 times before).

you can do this, it isn't hard but does take a bit of work. Have fun!
re: First driving lesson
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 01:48 PM
I know that ou say it isn't really an option for you to take longer, but you might have to because of things you can't control like scheduling or just safety things like not being ready. Even after I got my license, I really wasn't comfortable driving by myself for a long time. And in all honesty, I still don't feel totally safe driving on highways, or at night or in bad weather.

its great that you have this goal, but I still really think you need a Plan B. It takes time to get comfortable, get skilled and fit in the lessons, tests, practice whatever. I didn't know that if you were over 18 that you could bypass all those rules. I live in NY also and no one ever told me that and I didn't get my license until I was 18. I knew you could bypass some of the rules about driving at night after you got your license but I thought the permit rules were the same. But I could be wrong, as it has been 4 years since I got my license.
re: First driving lesson
By MuffinHeadmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 02:04 PM
Schedule your test NOW... or last week. When I scheduled my driving test-- I was on a SIX MONTH waiting list. I started college (commuting) in less than a month at that point. Somehow I lucked out and someone cancelled their appointment the day before I started classes, and I got in and luckily I passed.

You have an overly optimistic view of how this is going to happen. I was 18 when I got my license, I didn't *need* to take Driver's Ed. But I did anyway, because if you take Driver's Ed the cost of car insurance goes WAY down. It was 100% worth it to me. I was in classes and had road lessons for THREE MONTHS. That's longer than you're allowing yourself to get your license.

And if I'm not mistaken, you pay the driver's test fee each time you have to take it. So, don't take it unless you're sure you will pass.
re: First driving lesson
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 02:28 PM
If I don't get my license, my mom will stop driving me to work. If I stop going to work, I'll have no money, and my mom will resent me even more than she already does. This is why it's not an option.

I don't plan on taking the test here, I plan on going to another town because it is very well known that it is unlikely for you to pass the road test your first time where I live, even if you're a great driver.

When you get your permit, part of the fee is for the road test. You get 2 tries, and after that, you pay a $10 fee for another two tries...so even if I don't pass the first time, I still have another shot at it without paying...and if I don't pass the second, oh well, it's a $10 fee to take it again.

Once I get my license, I'll have to drive on my own because, as I said, my mom is sick and tired of driving me places, and I need to get places. I have 2 jobs, and from where I live, there is absolutely no public transportation available.

I'm positive that the rules about the permit don't apply to me as I'm over 18...there isn't a specific amount of time that I need to have had my permit (though I have definitely surpassed that amount for a minor anyway since I've had it for almost 2 years now), no specific number of hours of driving I need completed, driver's ed isn't required in my state etc. The only thing I need to do is take the 5 hour pre-licensing course. I took it last year, but your certificate from that expires after 1 year so I have to take it again.
re: First driving lesson
By iliahmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 03:21 PM
Edited by iliah (130543) on 2010-06-03 15:23:01
If I don't get my license, my mom will stop driving me to work. If I stop going to work, I'll have no money, and my mom will resent me even more than she already does. This is why it's not an option.


Oh hon, it will be an option if you don't get enough practice, you panic, and you get failed. That's why you need to plan ahead and lower your expectations.

I'm positive that the rules about the permit don't apply to me as I'm over 18...there isn't a specific amount of time that I need to have had my permit (though I have definitely surpassed that amount for a minor anyway since I've had it for almost 2 years now), no specific number of hours of driving I need completed, driver's ed isn't required in my state etc.


*sigh* LEGALLY, they don't apply to you. BUT, if you take drivers' ed and practice for more hours than you intend to now, you have a MUCH higher chance of passing the exam. Please do that, for the sake of YOUR safety, and the safety of other drivers on the road. It typically takes new drivers about 5 years on the road to become a driver with an "average" rate of collisions. That's something to think about...

I'm a very safe driver (jazz_lover can vouch for the insanity of Los Angeles traffic I brave), and it seriously took me about 100 hours of practice to get my license, and MORE after I got my license to be completely comfortable with driving on my own. I passed my exam in a notoriously difficult location, and the driving test is NOTHING compared to the "real" driving...commuting through insane traffic NOT in a test situation where the instructor does watch out for your safety.

And one more thing you should know...about instructor cars. They got gas and brake pedals on their side too, so in case you screw up, at least they're there to save your life. You can't do that in a parent's car unless they're licensed driving instructors too. Get more hours in such a low-risk environment, and the quality of learning is MUCH higher than if you just drove around with your mom sitting next to you.

Good luck.
re: First driving lesson
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 03:36 PM
Listen to Haili, trust me, she knows what she is talking about. She is an amazing driver because she got us through LA traffic without killing the both of us. My guy who is a cop even had a hard time driving in LA.

"I don't plan on taking the test here, I plan on going to another town because it is very well known that it is unlikely for you to pass the road test your first time where I live, even if you're a great driver."

No, go to the place where you live. Don't go to another place because it is " easier" to pass.

My guy sees accidents and does death investigations. Many times it is young teen drivers that end up dead in a accident. Please please please go get more practice then a few months. Shouldn't the lack of a car for a few extra months, worth having your life?
re: First driving lesson
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 04:04 PM
If you have doubts about your driving, or you're plain and simple, NOT a good driver, DON'T RUSH IT!

My best friend in high school smashed up her brand new car the first day she owned it. Now, fourish years later, she rarely ever drives because she is not comfortable with her driving skills. To put it nicely, she's a really sucky driver and I have always hated driving with her. I'm so glad she doesn't drive. But anyway.

Being a crappy driver is really dangerous for you and everyone else on the road.

It takes a lot of time and practice to be a good driver and a defensive driver. You need to be driving for a few hours everyday for the next month if you don't want to risk killing yourself or others.
re: First driving lesson
By schuhplattlerPremium member
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 04:09 PM
Make a Plan B, THEN, in a new unit of time,
Make the positive postulate that you won't need it - a light thought, with full intention and no effort, and without even considering that anything else could exist.

Notice how this thread is pulling in intention from all of us to back you up.
re: First driving lesson
By forgetxmexnot
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 05:41 PM
Edited by forgetxmexnot (157970) on 2010-06-03 17:44:15
Edited by forgetxmexnot (157970) on 2010-06-03 17:44:35
I find it odd that you're so scared of driving, yet think it's so easy.

There's a reason they want you to wait and drive a certain amount of hours with your permit before you get your license. I got my license when I was 16 and DID NOT drive by myself. Honestly, passing my road test was not difficult at all for me, but I still made A LOT of little mistakes when I first got my license that had I not had someone sitting right next to me while I was driving, I could have caused a serious accident. I was a fine driver, but still needed practice it was those little mistakes that really added up. And I had a lot more practice at the time than you.
re: First driving lesson
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 05:51 PM
I think you need to explain to your mom what the norms of learning to drive are, the odds of passing on the first time, the odds of getting into an accident in the first few months etc. Its been a really long time since she got her license and things might have changed. When my mom got her license all she had to do was drive around the block. She didn't even have to make left turns. Things are taken more seriously now. If she won't listen to you than talk to your driving teacher. When you have your lesson tomorrow talk about what your plans and goals are and s/he will let you know if its realistic. They know better than anybody else will as this is their profession.
re: First driving lesson
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 07:52 PM
forgetxmexnot wrote:

I find it odd that you're so scared of driving, yet think it's so easy.

There's a reason they want you to wait and drive a certain amount of hours with your permit before you get your license. I got my license when I was 16 and DID NOT drive by myself. Honestly, passing my road test was not difficult at all for me, but I still made A LOT of little mistakes when I first got my license that had I not had someone sitting right next to me while I was driving, I could have caused a serious accident. I was a fine driver, but still needed practice it was those little mistakes that really added up. And I had a lot more practice at the time than you.


I was hit by a car when I was 15 -- that's why I'm so scared of driving.
re: First driving lesson
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 08:05 PM
^ I don't think it matters WHY or the excuses of why you are scared of driving a car. I don't care if you got run over ( well I do of course care, but not in the way I am suggesting), if you just hate metal, if the feel of leather seats bother you, if you don't like the word "car"...etc...My point is that it doesn't matter WHY you are scared. What matters is that you ARE scared.

If you are scared, and you have only a few months to practice, it will stress you out. Learning to drive a car, is stressful in itself...if you add the "scared of driving" part to it, you are going to go nuts.

Can't you just ride a bike to work for the time being? I used to ride 20 miles each way for school.
re: First driving lesson
By Danamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 08:57 PM
^ 20 miles?! That is IMPRESSIVE. Seriously.

I agree with finding a plan B. You must have some public transportation, even if it's as craptastic as the public transportation in my city. I was/am a nervous driver, and it took me awhile to get my license, and even longer after that for me to feel comfortable driving on anything but the surface streets. (Although that was more a function of being sick of it taking 45 minutes to get to school instead of 25. haha) Don't push yourself, especially since you're already prone to anxiety. There's always another option, and while it's helpful to have a license, you can get by without one.

Otherwise, driving lessons really helped me, a lot more so than driving with my parents. Driving instructors are used to EVERYTHING; they don't get fazed, and that relaxed attitude really rubs off - the way parents' freaking out can also rub off. (I don't know if everyone's parents freaked out while teaching them to drive. Granted, my parents had already taught my sister to drive. And then she got in five accidents in three years... so that contributed to the freaking out...)
re: First driving lesson
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 09:09 PM
jazz_lover - Riding a bike isn't plausible. To get from my house to Claire's, you have to go on this one road that doesn't allow bikers, and even if it did, that would be an accident waiting to happen. While I suppose I could ride to Urban, the problem with that anyway is that I don't have a bike.

Dana wrote:

^ 20 miles?! That is IMPRESSIVE. Seriously.

I agree with finding a plan B. You must have some public transportation, even if it's as craptastic as the public transportation in my city. I was/am a nervous driver, and it took me awhile to get my license, and even longer after that for me to feel comfortable driving on anything but the surface streets. (Although that was more a function of being sick of it taking 45 minutes to get to school instead of 25. haha) Don't push yourself, especially since you're already prone to anxiety. There's always another option, and while it's helpful to have a license, you can get by without one.

Otherwise, driving lessons really helped me, a lot more so than driving with my parents. Driving instructors are used to EVERYTHING; they don't get fazed, and that relaxed attitude really rubs off - the way parents' freaking out can also rub off. (I don't know if everyone's parents freaked out while teaching them to drive. Granted, my parents had already taught my sister to drive. And then she got in five accidents in three years... so that contributed to the freaking out...)


There is literally no public transportation available from my house. As I said, I live out in BFE, and the public transportation where I live is only good if you live in main areas (though granted, it's actually great if you live in main areas).

While you might think it's possible to get by without a license, this is only true for so long. I've been eligible for a license for 2 years now (since I didn't get my permit when I was 16)...and while it's worked out okay for the past 2 years, it's not working out any more. The only reason my summer has worked out okay thus far is I have a friend who doesn't mind chauffeuring me around all the time -- but now that she's in class, her mom isn't letting her have the car so much. My mom said tonight that she can't take driving me much longer...and as I said, if she doesn't drive me (and I don't have a license), I can't get to work...and if I don't work, then I have no money...and my mom will resent me more than she already does.

I realize that this isn't the best way to go about getting my license, but it's pretty much my only option unless I find somewhere to sublet so I can use public transportation...but that costs an arm and a leg and defeats the purpose of coming home for summer vacation.
re: First driving lesson (karma: 1)
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 09:48 PM
I'm honestly surprised that your mother is actually totally fine with this rush-rush process of you learning how to drive. I drove for a years worth of time with my permit before I got my license, but even when I got my unrestricted license and had my own car, my mother hated me driving anywhere that wasn't within a 10 minute radius and/or required the use of a highway. When I decided I was taking my car to college with me in the middle of my first semester (only 150 miles), she nearly had a meltdown.

Even now, when I take my 1500 mile road trips by myself, she worries. I find it's actually easier if I just show up at their house, versus telling her before I leave my house.

But anyway, I was hit by a car when I was around 16. I understand that it caused a phobia for you, but you of all people should understand how important it is to be a safe and skilled driver. I don't know how close your work is to your house, but if it's a hike that involves tricky roads, I'd strongly advise you figure out another plan. Learning how to properly operate a vehicle in a month's time just isn't enough. It's just not safe. I totally support that you've now decided it's time to learn. Driving is great, it's just something that can cause huge problems if not done properly.
re: First driving lesson (karma: 1)
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:57 PM
Edited by jazz_lover (99333) on 2010-06-04 00:05:59 Added something at the end.
Edited by jazz_lover (99333) on 2010-06-04 00:21:12
Dana, I didn't do the 20 miles for a very long time...but while it was done...it was AMAZING cardio.

Sara, I know that you worked as a EMT and you have probably pulled new drivers out of cars in accident. I know that some people think " It can't happen to me" but people like EMT's know how often new drivers get into accidents. Sara was this the case with you?

Dear Sunshineface,

I am sorry if you think I am a bit defensive, but I had a friend who was killed by a new driver. The new driver rear ended her, which caused my friends car to spin. Yes, it was a freak accident, but they DO happen. I think this accident could have been avoided if she was more comfortable in a car. If she was a experienced driver, she would have been able to prevent the accident. I think she panicked and wasn't able to react in time.

The thing with new drivers is that they are already tense behind the wheel. I am not sure if you ever hyperventilated, but your peripheral vision goes down the toliet. Even a simple anxiety attack causes this to happen. Do you know what happens when your vision narrows when you are driving? You have so many blindspots already to begin with, and you do NOT need to to have anxiety and lose your peripheral vision. If you have never HAD a panic attack, try taking deep breathe quickly for a couple of minutes. This will mess up your carbon dioxide levels , mimicking the feeling of hyperventaltion. Have a friend stand next to you with a sign, and try reading the sign when you are hyperventalating,

Snipers sometimes hyperventalite during stressful situations, and they have to learn NOT to do so if they want to shoot accurately. They train hours on hand in order NOT to panic during stressful situation. My point here is that even trained professionals panic at times, and you aren't the only one. My point also is that they train HOURS on end in order to accomplish something.

You won't be a safe driver in a few months, and I it may even be more safe to hitchhike. ( and no don't do that! It was a semi-joke).

What you need to do first is to go into a empty parking lot and figure out how your brakes work. You need to go about 50 miles an hour and break suddenly. This will show you how quickly your breaks work. Only do this a few times though, because it messes up your tires.

You also need to figure out the dimensions of your car. Each car is different, and you need to figure out exactly how wide and long your car is. Try finding a wall, and slowly trying to get as close to it as possible without hitting the actual wall. ( also try backing up into the wall, without hitting it). This will give you the range of how long the nose of your car is.

Love,
Jazzy. The driver who can parallel park uphill in San Fransisco traffic.

I understand the no transportation thing, because I used to live in a area that didn't have any. Is there anyway you can hire a friend of yours to come pick you up? Pay her the money of course. Are there any taxi services? Yes, it would cost an arm and leg to do that, but it is so much safer, and saves you money in the long run. If you get in a accident, it will make your insurance rates go WAY up. How long would you have to walk/ride a bike to the nearest bus? Japanese women walk miles to the train station, and it is considered a norm there. Notice how most asian women in Japan aren't very overweight? It is all the cardio walking everyday!

Walking/riding a bike is healthy for your health, AND you don't have to worry about your workout for that day!

EDIT!

Oh, and I have also practied driving on skid pads. Once you get on one of those, you realise how much control the car has over you.

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