Over spring break, I was able to practice more on driving. In my first lesson, my mentor showed me the functions of each button/control before we actually began driving. It is important to adjust the rear-view mirror and seat before starting the car; hands should be placed on the steering wheel at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock. My mentor first showed me the techniques of turning and approaching a cul-de-sac. Afterwards, we switched seats and I was the driver.
The word “exhilarating” would explain how I felt. My toes pushed on the accelerator, and to my (and my mentor’s) horror, the car lurched forward; almost crashing into the car parked ahead. Luckily, he stepped on the brake fast enough. “Easy, easy, easy” would be his new favorite phrase with me in the next few weeks. Being unfamiliar with the amount of pressure I should apply to the accelerator, it caused the car to skid regularly.
When turning, I learned that the front of the car should line up with the line I am turning into before I turn the steering wheel. That way, I won’t turn too early or go too far from the lane I need to turn into. We practiced this several times before moving on to turning in a cul-de-sac.
Honestly, cul-de-sacs were incredibly difficult because I had to turn the steering wheel rapidly and sharply while maintaining loose hands so to not “lock” up the wheels. Several times, I ended up turning too close to the curb and almost scratching the car. The atmosphere became really solemn and I became more tense.
Notice the speed limit signs while driving down roads? I know that every driver MUST abide to these rules, but I finally understand how slow I’m actually driving. It may seem that the speed at 50 is a relatively moderate pace, however, I was struggling to not push on the gas pedal even when the needle was quivering on 50.
By the time the lesson ended, I was mentally and physically exhausted. Mentally because I had to think, suffer many close-calls and take in a lot of information; physically because my body was tense the entire time I was driving.
But hey, everything must be difficult at the beginning right? It just takes practice.
See you all in the next update!