“Keep your eyes on the road and pay attention! Do you want to get us killed?!”
The car screeches to a halt as you turn to your instructor. “But did you die?”
Driving can be tough to learn, especially with an adult screaming at you. Trust me, I was a disaster when I first began driving. My dad kept reminding me how much I sucked at turning and focusing and parking. Luckily, I had a friend who was kind enough to teach me patiently and now it’s a breeze. (Although you still probably won’t find me riding around with my dad.)
Here are some of the tips which helped enormously:
1. Wake Up!
Ten jumping jacks before each lesson provide a quick solution to snap you awake so that you can focus. This ensures that when you get into the car, you automatically adjust your seat, mirrors and seatbelt. That delivery guy on a bike swerving in from the left? You’ll have that covered before your driving instructor can yell “I NEED MY MIRROR!!”
2. Take Your Time
Making sure you’re following the rules of the road includes slowing down to concentrate. Don’t worry about going too slowly, it’s much worse to drive beyond the speed limit because you might not be able to stop and avoid vehicles turning out of nowhere.
3. Go Easy on the Brakes and Gas
You don’t want to stop too suddenly or speed up too fast. Slow down gently when turning and lightly maneuver the gas when you want to accelerate.
4. Don’t Stop as you Turn
As you’re preparing to turn, sometimes you may press the brakes too much, which causes you to stop in the middle of an intersection. This may or may not cause your instructor to start screaming that someone can hit you from the back and that s/he’s more scared for her/his life than yours… Therefore, just tap the brakes as you slow down and then prepare steering when you reach the corner.
5. Remember, Practice Makes Perfect
It’s okay to be a beginner. Don’t stress out if you can’t park or turn correctly. Just remember that learning how to drive is a process. From each mistake, you’ll learn and it will eventually become effortless.
It might also help to keep in mind that soon you’ll be cruising to the beach on weekends with your friends, with music blasting the entire time. Then you’ll also be 100% sure that you’re the most fantastic driver the roads have ever met. Welcome to the driver’s club.
Benny Luong is a contributor at GlamSalad.com and writing is definitely his cup of tea. When he is not sharing tips, inspiration and photos of brunch, he can be found listening to the podcast “88 Cups of Tea.”
Cover photo shot by Averie Woodard