Driving me where?

Oldest son has a Learners Permit.

November has been abnormally warm for the last fortnight – with daytime highs of around 35 to 43 degrees. This has all been tiring and unpleasant, and so there has been no incentive to go spending time on a bit of driving practice.

So The Chap has had little learning or practice apart from the hour or so spent in getting familiar with a vehicle, starting and stopping, and going around a few corners. Slowly. With his terrified mum alongside.

Yesterday we spend a thrilling 1/2 hour in the deserted car park of a nearby (former) hardware store – speeding up, slowing down, braking, turning corners. Over and over and over. I think 1/2 hour was enough for us both.

Today we went and did the same again. Cornering is getting better, and thankfully, slower. Too much watching blokes laying rubber all over a test track on “Top Gear” does tend to be a little misleading.

After 1/2 an hour of pootling around the same ole boring car park – I directed him out and down a major-ish road – ¬†only 100 metres but that was a fairly big deal… and then down into some local streets on the flat bit down the bottom of the hill. Speed humps, traffic-slowing chicanes, parked cars, bad signage. In other words – normal suburbia. After another 1/2 hour in this – it was time for cricket. A session of an hour all up is probably about long enough.

It’s beginning to sink in… situational awareness (”you forgot to check on your right… consider yourself flattened by an 18-wheel semi-trailer”), where the car is in relation to the side of the road (”don’t take out the tyre side walls on the kurb please, they’re $90 a pop”), and concentration.

Concentration is the big one, and I’m glad it’s him who said “You have to concentrate a lot, don’t you”.

Yes – sure do…

We both make jokes about how the “L” plates on the car are warning signs for everyone else. Of course, we all know also that this is EXACTLY what they are.

More fun times a-coming :)

3 Comments

I remember wondering – as a L-plater when my Mum would let me just hoon up the Brinkley Road* just how in the hell drivers SAW anything on the side of the road because I was too terrified to turn my head even five degrees!

* Brinkley Road was out in the middle of nowhere and was dead straight and dead flat. Perfect for gear changes and keep an eye on the speedo, but hopeless for hill starts, indicators or traffic lights!

Comment by Kath Lockett | November 23rd, 2009 10:04 am | Permalink

I don’t envy you but I must admit teaching my son was much less ‘charged’ than teaching my daughter and despite having a bit of a dingle last year that really wasn’t his fault, he’s the better driver of the two. We were lucky really since there was a new housing estate with no built homes on it for the total n00bs to practise on before hitting the road. Good luck and keep your temper

Comment by Baino | November 24th, 2009 1:10 pm | Permalink

My grandchildren have learnt to handle the family cars out on the farm paddock since they were tall enough to reach the pedals and see out the windscreen at the same time, so they’re well used to the feel of the car and gear changing etc. I’m sure this will be a big help when the time comes for them to learn handling traffic and stop signs etc as well.

Comment by river | November 24th, 2009 6:37 pm | Permalink

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