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#1 18-04-09 19:23:41

lwest191
Member
Registered: 18-04-09
Posts: 4

Advice, so many cracks appearing

I started learning to drive in June with my dad. My parents brought me a small car for my birthday but because I wasn't overly excited about learning to drive I put off booking lessons for as long as possible. I got the basics sorted with my dad and as soon as I started having lessons with my instructor as well as going out with my dad everything started coming together.

But then he mentioned being near test standard and now there are cracks appearing everywhere, and whilst he's really good about it and moves on to something else when he notices me getting frustrated with myself, I can't help feeling really bad about things when I come away from the lessons. It's not his fault, I enjoy lessons with him and I do feel like I'm learning, and my sheet thingy that RED use to plot progress is showing improvement, I have at least 3's and 4's in every area, but it seems that every time I get one thing perfect something else goes down the pan.

I'm not a very confident person, so a lot of his time is spent making me look at the positive side of something rather than a down side i.e. my turn in the road today was apparently good other than my observation, I failed to stop a toddler on a bike on the pavement behind me. I took that as a bad point, but as he would say, at least I didn't hit the toddler and that was the only problem with it.

I really really need some help with my bay park though, I have parallel perfect in his car (a new vauxhall corsa) and my car (a renault clio), but I cannot bay park for the life of me. Obviously the turning points are different in both cars because they're different sizes, but it doesn't matter which car I'm in, I always end up skew-whiff in one bay, too far over, or in two bays, I've been trying to get this one sorted for at least a month now and it just doesn't seem to be getting anywhere. In his car my reference point is the white line in the middle of my door normally, he's even tried lining the car up for me and then just letting me reverse into the bay, but I can't even do it then, but I can reverse around a corner.

Any advice on how I can sort out my bay park?

Also how on earth do you teach someone to judge a distance because saying "You'll pick it up" just isn't working. I can't judge whether I have time to turn right across traffic, I can't judge whether I have time to enter the roundabout if there is someone waiting, I can't just when I should put my indicators on to turn. He's tried everything but car lengths means nothing to me when I'm driving.

My general driving is okay other than gears but I'm guessing that comes with time. It just manouevres and confidence that are holding me back at the moment.

And general advice on how I can stop everything falling apart when I have one sorted?

Also, would any of you feel comfortable taking someone of test standard out in their car without dual-controls to help them transfer the skills from your car into theirs? Because I just can't get any of it right in my car. Or would you wait until they've passed and then go out in their car? Or not at all?

(Sorry I know it's long and there are a lot of questions)

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18-04-09 19:23:41

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Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing



#2 18-04-09 19:28:39

adi3122
Guest

Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

I would not worry too much about some things going slightly wrong its called the learning plateau and it quite common for it to happen, you have made a good step joining this forum there are loads of proffesionals that can help you. one tip i have when waiting for a safe gap is to put yourself in the mode of a pedsetrian and if you would cross the road as pedestrian you can certainly go in  a car you are using your experiance as a pedestrian to help u in your driving. i am sure alot of otyher people will post helpful advice good luck
charles

#3 18-04-09 19:40:34

lwest191
Member
Registered: 18-04-09
Posts: 4

Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

Thanks but the theory of "if you can walk it you can drive it" doesn't help.

I'm apparently one of the most awkward people he's ever taught to drive, because I have huge complex's about tiny things, unless the road is completely clear or I'm using a pedestrian crossing, I won't cross the road.

I think part of it is because I'm a first-aider and I've seen the damage a car can do to a pedestrian first hand, but the green-cross code was banged into my head a little bit too hard and I'm really really careful about everything.

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#4 18-04-09 20:07:10

Lewinpeter1
Verified Member
From: Morpeth,Northumberland
Registered: 17-01-09
Posts: 803
Website

Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

Hi
Sounds to me like you are trying TOO hard.Chill a little and dont over complicate things.Think about what YOU need to do and not what might go wrong.You only need to do a few things to get it right,there are loads of things that can go wrong[too much to think about.
Do you find yourself debating with yourself about what to do and when to do it?,instead of just doing it.
Try to drive more by instinct and go with your instinct every time.Good luck.
Peter


Dont press that,oh @@##!

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#5 18-04-09 22:33:21

evondoll
Verified Member
From: Glasgow
Registered: 27-01-09
Posts: 204
Website

Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

Sounds like your being really hard on yourself! Also seems like you are having problems in quite a few areas of driving....maybe moving away from each problem onto something new whenever you start getting frustrated isn't the best way to go about it....instead of sorting it your getting something new to get nearly right but not quite, then moving on again when its not working. This is leaving you with a big list of things that are nearly but not quite 100%.
Take things a step at a time, sort one thing out before moving on to the next.

From what you say, you want to get the gears sorted, judge gaps better and do the manos better (confidence will come with practise).

Not sure what problems your having with gears, if its just the odd wrong gear or doubt about what gear to be in then your right, this would normally sort itself out.

When I have pupils who have problems with judging gaps I normally keep telling them when its safe to go until it starts to fall into place. A bit like when you first teach a kid when to cross the road, you take their hand and walk them over when its safe...they see this and learn what a safe gap is in the traffic to walk across the road.
Sometimes I'll swap seats with the pupil and do roundabouts with me driving and get them to tell me when its a safe gap to go...this can help build confidence as when they are in the seat they will see the gap, then doubt themselves and by the time they know it was a gap its too late...with me driving if they say its safe and it is, I'll go.
Whenever your in a car watch the driver and see the gaps that they take....the more you watch the more you will figure out what is and what isn't a safe gap.

For bay park. Ask your instructor to stop you at the point of turn (I'm presuming your reversing in at 90* angle?). If the white line ref isn't working for you look for another ref that suits you.
I get my pupils to stop at the point of turn, first I ask them where the white line meets the front door window, then I ask them to imagine a straight line from their shoulder going into the bay, where in the bay is it (this is normally about half way in the bay), finally I ask them to look out the back passenger side windows and see if there is a bay line anywere there (depends on the car where this might be). I then leave it to the pupil to decide what ref is the clearest for them....most pick the shoulder lined up half way in the bay.

If this doesn't work ask to try bay parking from an angle rather than at the full 90 degrees.

Most of all relax, enjoy your lessons and trust that it will all come together!

Evon x

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#6 19-04-09 08:32:22

ExAdiNigel
Member
From: Plymouth, Devon
Registered: 13-12-04
Posts: 4,739

Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

Are you a perfectionist by any chance?

With the bay park, as far as the test is concerned, provided all 4 wheels are inside the bay it doesn't matter if you aren't straight.  Worry about perfecting everything after you have passed.

Obviously the higher you aim for the more likely you are to pass the test and the more likely you will stay safe on the road.

Nigel


National Standards Cycling Instructor, Ex Adi

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#7 19-04-09 14:12:47

lwest191
Member
Registered: 18-04-09
Posts: 4

Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

It's not really perfection I aim for, I'm just a worry-wart.

I'm really worried about getting everything right so then I have given the examiner no reason to fail me, but because I'll go in there assuming I'll fail chances are I'll fail, so I want to make sure I can get everything right.

As far as the moving on when I get frustrated goes, the more frustrated I get, the worse my driving is, so I don't really have a choice but to move on, I always practise everything more than once before moving on, but if I'm not getting it and getting worked up about it, it's normally better to just move on and leave it until I calm down.

I have turn in the road, controlled stop and parallel park to test standard most of the time, but my bay park and reversing around "hybrid" corners as RED call them and sharp corners are stopping me from being ready for a mock test.

My driving instructor won't let me try a mock until I have all the manouevres sorted as much as I want him too, so really I need to learn how to reverse and soon. I'm not sure if it's because I'm short, and I learn in a big car, I know when coming off a slip road onto a dual carriageway, I can see nothing when I do an over-shoulder check because my seat is too far forward for me to see anything so I have to rely on my mirrors completely, I don't know if this is stopping me getting reversing because my reference points are so far off everyone else's because of how I have the seat and what I can actually see etc.

With regards to the bay park, I was told if I was too far over on one side, I'd probably get a minor, and the same goes for being skew-whiff, does it really not matter as long as my wheels are in the bay?

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#8 19-04-09 17:54:47

evanadi
Guest

Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

''It's not really perfection I aim for, I'm just a worry-wart.''

More tests are failed worrying about little mistakes and then making a BIG one because you are worried then anything else.

When you are driving only deal with the Here and Now, like everything in life you can only learn lessons from the past you can never change it, but you can improve your future performance from those mistakes. Ev


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#9 19-04-09 22:06:55

evondoll
Verified Member
From: Glasgow
Registered: 27-01-09
Posts: 204
Website

Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

reversing around "hybrid" corners as RED call them

Whats a hybrid corner??

As for bay park, yes aim to be in the centre of the bay.....as for test, so long as all four wheels are in the bay.

I'm wondering what standard your instructor is aiming for with you.....please don't take this the wrong way, we all aim for our pupils to do the best they can and to make them safe drivers.
If the instructor is aiming for perfection....and your aiming for perfection then maybe together you are both aiming too high.
There are no perfect drivers on the road....we all make little mistakes. Don't set yourself up to be perfect cause you will fail....set yourself up to be safe.

As for the driving test, again the examiner isn't looking for perfection s/he only wants to check your going to be safe on the road.

Evon x

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#10 20-04-09 05:44:08

ExAdiNigel
Member
From: Plymouth, Devon
Registered: 13-12-04
Posts: 4,739

Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

....With regards to the bay park, I was told if I was too far over on one side, I'd probably get a minor, and the same goes for being skew-whiff, does it really not matter as long as my wheels are in the bay?

For Bay Park you can receive faults for observation and control.  Observation is fairly self-explanatory but is for not taking effective observation - don't get hung up just looking to one side (remember you are parking in between 2 lines and not simply next to one, also obs needs to be out the back window and also to where other cars may come from.  Control - that may be down to rolling forward when in reverse (or vice-versa) or maybe finding you are not lined up correctly necessitating a shunt forwards for correction.  Provided all 4 wheels are in the bay then the park should be OK.  Certainly in Swindon test centre the wheels can be on the line provided they aren't over the line.

Does your instructor give a reason why he wont do a mock test?  If he isn't happy with your manoeuvres than just do a mock test without any manoeuvres - compromise big_smile

Your reference points are yours!  Whether they tally with other driver's reference points is entirely irrelevant, provided they work for you.  Joining a road from a slip road use the mirrors initially (lean forward to widen the angle of vision), once you have identified your gap then a quick glance to the side may be prudent - doesn't need to be completely over your shoulder in this case - chin to shoulder coupled with your peripheral vision should cover your blind spot.  Be aware that the further you twist to look into your blind spot the more likely you are to steer at the same time!

Good luck

Nigel


National Standards Cycling Instructor, Ex Adi

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#11 20-04-09 19:09:17

lwest191
Member
Registered: 18-04-09
Posts: 4

Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

According to my instructor there are three types of corners, round, sharp and hybrid, hybrid is somewhere between the two others. The one I practice on, starts as a round corner, but it carries on going round, so instead of reversing 90 degrees, I have to reverse more like 300 degrees (maybe a slight exaggeration).

[IMG]http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w290/faultybarbiedoll/corners.jpg[/img] The green line would be the hybrid, as my instructor has explained it to me, purple a round corner and black a sharp corner.

I might just be concentrating too hard on getting things right, but I think it's more because I'm worried. I don't think my instructor cares about more perfection, at the moment, he's just happy if I can get the car anywhere near the lines for my bay park without me wanting to have a nervous breakdown.

Everything everyone has said so far has really helped though and I will be trying out the tips next time I'm out.

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#12 21-04-09 06:31:59

la.monikita
Verified Member
From: SE LONDON / KENT
Registered: 12-03-05
Posts: 3,064

Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

You are a very intelligent and analytical person, give yourself time for it all to sink in, trust me it will. There are no "awkward" people as your instructor put it. It's wrong of him/her to say that too. We're all so different, it would be boring if we were all the same, wouldn't it?

It's when you are trying so hard it goes wrong, because driving has to become subconscious or your second nature, until then things will go wrong. You'll also find that perfect does not exits. Give yourself time to learn.


"What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself."
Abraham Maslow

21st Century Women http://www.loisontheloose.com/my-advent … /the-team/

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#13 14-05-09 12:49:35

razzie
Member
Registered: 30-07-07
Posts: 25

Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

You sound just like I was - I analysed absolutely everything and felt like I never got anything right. When I had to change instructor, it all changed. My current instructor is MUCH more relaxed and as a result so am I. He can see when I am getting frustrated with myself and we have a chat about something completely unrelated to driving, which stops me thinking about it, then I drive much better.
If we are going to do something that he thinks I might panic about, he talks to me and then I drive by instinct (for example I used to panic about pedestrian crossings, I was coming up to one where a lady was waiting with a toddler and we chatted about the toddlers wellies and before I knew it we'd successfully negotiated the crossing).
We also have a 5 minute chat at the end of every lesson and he always praises the good aspects of the lesson.
When I booked my test, cracks started to appear and I felt like cancelling my test - but although I failed the test (due to a silly mistake caused by doubting myself) it was probably the best drive I've ever had, as I realised that I couldn't wait for anyone to tell me what to do and that the final decision was mine.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that it will come - you just have to relax and believe in yourself. I know its annoying when people say things like that, but thats because its true.
Good luck with everything and hopefully soon we'll both be independant drivers!  big_smile

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#14 21-05-09 17:31:52

ECPC
Verified Member
From: NW Hampshire
Registered: 20-10-08
Posts: 171
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Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

If your instructor won't allow you to take a mock test, even when you ask him for a compromise, ask him if you can go for an assessment drive with another Red Instructor. Sometimes just hearing it from another Instructor can really help to show that you're actually doing okay. If you're not then they may just be able to pin point a technique that will help you with the problems you are encountering, which will also help your current instructor as he'll learn a new teaching style too.

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#15 28-05-09 13:18:39

ExAdiNigel
Member
From: Plymouth, Devon
Registered: 13-12-04
Posts: 4,739

Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

If your instructor won't allow you to take a mock test, even when you ask him for a compromise, ask him if you can go for an assessment drive with another Red Instructor.....

Why another Red instructor?  If your instructor wont let you take a mock test find another instructor who will!  Remember, you're the customer.

Nigel


National Standards Cycling Instructor, Ex Adi

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#16 28-05-09 13:34:16

ECPC
Verified Member
From: NW Hampshire
Registered: 20-10-08
Posts: 171
Website

Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

adiNigel, Thanks, when I first started typing that reply I meant to add this bit in, but got distracted by kids!

If your Instructor won't entertain the idea of you driving with one of his colleagues, one would surmise that he has something to hide and is worried about the level of tuition he's given you this far. I always tell my students on their first lesson that they must remember that they are the customer and they have a right to choose. If I do something that upsets them I hope they'll talk to me about it first and I'll sort it out, or they're free to switch to another instructor if they're really unhappy. I've not lost a student yet.

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#17 28-05-09 14:08:51

KevB
Verified Member
From: Amesbury
Registered: 06-06-08
Posts: 1,725
Website

Re: Advice, so many cracks appearing

But then he mentioned being near test standard and now there are cracks appearing everywhere, and whilst he's really good about it and moves on to something else when he notices me getting frustrated with myself, I can't help feeling really bad about things when I come away from the lessons. It's not his fault, I enjoy lessons with him and I do feel like I'm learning, and my sheet thingy that RED use to plot progress is showing improvement, I have at least 3's and 4's in every area, but it seems that every time I get one thing perfect something else goes down the pan.

Your assesment record is saying you are still being guided in your driving.
That would suggest you are further away from test standard than you have been led to believe.

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