How to learn driving?

Anyone who can drive a car must have learned the skills of driving. Many people when they were learning driving were actually practicing with a lot of time, strictly speaking, they were not really studying. Because many people believe that driving a car is simply a process of practice. They always believe more practice in driving will help them to pass the test. What they did not realize is once they get the licence and driving a car by themselves, they then will feel shortage of skills. The result could be not to driving for a long time. When they need driving again, they will practice more and more. The process repeats itself and the driver lost confidence. Without doubt, if the driver happened to run into any problem, then he or she would dare not to drive whatsoever.

During our experiences over the years, we often run into people with driving licences, some even with Gold licences, come to learn how to drive. These people are often more serious than other first time learners. Their purpose is not merely trying to trick the Test Officer to get licences as they already have, but they want to make up what has missed. What missing is to learn to drive safely?

What then we need to pay attention when learning to drive? First of all, driving a car is a kind of sports. It has the similar principles with any other sport. When you need to learn a new sport, you will need to ask for a coach to teach you and help you to improve techniques. Then through your efforts, you will master the sport. Driving is the same. You will need a right method and gain certain level of skill to make right move. Under some extreme situations, driving skill may save your own life.

Let us then discuss some questions regarding to driving safely. When you play a ball, you will look at your opponent to understand where he hit the ball and where the ball will go. You will respond according to the situation and hit the ball back. When you are driving, you look at the front. What are you looking at, the road? In many cases of accident, you will often hear that I did not see that car (or the person). Most likely the person was speaking of the truth, and not trying to avoid responsibility or finding an excuse. This was simply the truth.

How then did it happen? It is because no one ever told the person to observe rightly when driving and feel the change of the road situation. The person did not know how to deal with situation accordingly. What does it mean by saying to observe rightly? It means to maintain the best position during driving. It is the very purpose of driving safely.

How to adjust seats and mirrors?

We have discussed how to observe in previous two articles, now we are talking about how to adjust seats and mirrors. Perhaps many people will say this is easy and I know how to do it. All I need to do is to simply sit in the car and feel comfortable. Our advice to dear readers is not to overlook the question please. It is special important to these who learn driving for the first time. We are not sure if our readers notice that there is an article in “Open Road” to talk about this topic in details. It may seem a topic of not too much importance, but it cannot be overlooked definitely.

One friend entered a car, adjusted the mirror, and started to move the car. He then felt not very happy with the sitting position and started to adjust the seat. It means his adjustment of mirror became in vain as his seat changed. If he looked at his mirror again, his version has changed too. Another friend went into the car, adjust positions of his hand on the steering wheel, then he started car and feel his legs were not very comfortable. He adjusted his legs, and only to realized that he needed to adjust his hands again. All these methods are not the right ones. The correct way is to adjust from the bottom to the top. By adjusting legs first, then hands and mirrors last, you can be sure that each step is in the right position.

Let us discuss about the position of the mirrors now. Many friends ask: “from the mirror, how you can see to know the right position of the mirror”? 90% of the answers are “you can see the car behind you or the road behind you”. These answers are right or wrong? Before we can say right or wrong, please let us imagine: if the place you park your car is below the road behind your car, in another word, from your mirror, all you can see is the road. On the other hand, if the place you park your car is higher than any places around your car, then you can only see nothing except the sky. A car is for driving on the road and it is moving all the time without a certain position. Therefore, when you adjust your mirror, there is no need to see the car or road behind you. All you need to see from the mirror is your back window. When you can see your back window, you will know what is happening at the back. Regarding to see the car behind you, it depends on what position your car is. It would be only for a short period if you could not see the car behind you. Once you moved out of the special position, you would be able to see the car clearly. Therefore, when you adjust your mirror, you adjust it according to your own car, not the situation of the road around.

The method of learning to drive

Now let us discuss a few problems when learning to drive. Any person will be nervous or very nervous in a situation when he or she is in contact with a machine that he or she has never been touched, knows very little or nothing at all of it. Under such a circumstance, there is an interesting feeling appeared that the person hopes someone who knows the machines will give him or her some sort of help. When you learn to drive, that car is a machine, and more than a common machine as it can run and can run faster and faster. Internally speaking, you will need to control the car, and externally speaking, you will need to control its direction. You will find your reaction to it is not enough, and that is the very reason you feel nervous. It is not because you are “stupid”. Let us to see two cases together.

One person knew not much of the car and drove a car on to the road straight away. Before he started to learn driving, his instructor told him that left pedal is for gas and right is for break. Now he can start to drive and off he went. Actually the learner only makes the car start to "moving" and not even driving the car at all. He can go around a circle without understanding anything. During the driving session, he actually was in a state of vacuum without any consciousness. Even when the car stopped, he was still pushing down the gas pedal. During the whole session, the car was actually under control of the instructor. After the lesson, he learned nothing and felt nothing. You don’t need any imagination to guess the result. It will force you to spend a lot time to “practice”. On the other hand, if he learns how to control with solving problems one or two at a learning session, his progress is actually not slow.

Another case was trying to remember the test route. If you spent a lot of time to remember the route, you would only think of what I do when coming to this or that cross road. Your attention was actually interrupted. You were driving according to your memory not judgment. It becomes a very bad habit. When we teach, we ask our students to test their own judgment. Under any circumstance even in familiar roads, students drive according their judgment, not memory. Some readers dare not to drive once they get their licences, and the very reason behind it is above. It is not difficult to try passing the test and show other people that you have a driving licence. It is very difficult to kid yourself to drive with yourself. A driver’s confidence of driving a car can only be known to him.

These two cases above are not good ways to learn (at least not the best), and we do not agree with them. As an instructor, using ways mentioned above is not responsible. The process of learning to drive for any person is to help him or her to judge according to the change of the speed. Only the right judgment can make sure of your safety and protect yourself more effectively. Without right judgment, you cannot actively control safety, but to pin your help on someone else. In doing so, you cannot protect yourself in the best way, let alone talk about driving safely.