I am really determined to learn how to drive on the streets, not just around the parking lot. My husband allowed me to drive from the parking lot of ‘At Home’ to the gate of the apartment on our 2nd day of driving lessons. It was a smooth drive because there were no other vehicles and passersby. However Derek told me that I should really hire an instructor to teach me how to drive on the streets because he isn’t willing to do it for me. That’s also the same advice we got from his Mom – that if we want to avoid fighting and save our marriage, I should get someone else to teach me. Which, by the way, is a good advice (I hear it a lot from other people too)… but we’ll get to that later.
So I went online and searched for a reasonable price for a driving instructor and came across driversed.com. They offer different packages for adult driving lessons and I decided to try their 2-hour session, which cost me $111.
Jacob, my instructor, arrived on time, and I easily spotted him in the parking lot because the car had a big ‘driversed.com’ painted on it. He introduced himself and gave me a brief overview of our activities for the 2-hour driving session. He took me to a parking lot and asked me a few basic questions on driving – such as the meaning of the color and style of the lanes – white, yellow, broken lines, solid lines, etc. And then he made me do the usual routine before driving: adjust my seat, mirrors and calm down.. 🙂
So we spent the first hour and 30 mins to go around the parking lot and discuss about some driving basics. He also corrected the way I turn right. I was already doing good with my left turns but I was bad with my right turns. He also noticed a lot of other mistakes I often made:
1. not looking at my mirrors from time to time
2. not checking my blindspots
3. not slowing down before I make a turn
4. not staying in my lane
5. turning the wheel too much when making turns
I thought I was doing really bad that’s why I got surprised when he told me that I will be driving us home. I was happy, and excited, but most of all, I was nervous. I was driving on the street!!! With traffic lights, cars, and pedestrians all around me! Gosh… There was a time when I was really panicking because he asked me to change lanes and make sure to check my blind spots. I just couldn’t do 2 things at the same time! When I was looking behind me if there were oncoming cars, I stepped on the brake – which is a no-no! So, I made a batch of mistakes again:
1. not taking the window of opportunity at the right moment – he said I shouldn’t hesitate on my every move because that can put me and other people in danger
2. not pushing the gas/not maintaining the speed limit – he was wary when the speed limit was 55 and I was going somewhere around 30. He told me other cars will hit us if I don’t speed up
3. stepping on the brake unnecessarily – when I’m scared or doubtful, I step on the brake.
4. stopping too close to the car in front of me in traffic – he told me to keep a good distance from the car in front of me
5. not turning the signal lights on before making turns
He made me park when we finally reached my apartment building. I was just so relieved that we made it alive and safe. He told me I did well for someone who is just driving for the first time. Yeah, that was just my 3rd day or to be really accurate – my first 5 hours behind the wheel – ever! So kudos to me! I felt happy and proud of myself that day. Haha. It felt like the longest ride I ever had. 🙂