How did you learn to drive??

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  1. I'm taking lessons but I don't feel like I'm learning as quickly as I should. I'm pretty bad at turning and parking. I'm curious to know what it was like for everyone else when learning to drive. What were your weaknesses, and how many hours of driving did it take until you passed your road test?? TIA!!
  2. I don't really remember how long it took me..I guess it was more of a gradual thing, kwim? I think the hardest part for me was learning how to reverse park, but all that comes naturally when you get a feel for what it feels like to control a car. The only way to get better is to just keep practicing. Good luck!
  3. It was several weekends with my dad and driving school. I learned with a manual transmission (my dad insisted) and my first car was manual (my dad paid), too. The hardest part was learning how to accelerate on an incline after hitting the brakes. I don't remember how many hours though.
  4. I've known how to drive since I was about 10. My mom used to take me in parking lots to learn allllll the time. Plus she used to drive a stick shift and she used to let me shift lol. Ive been driving on my own since I was 15(yea, Illegally). I guess I just...knew how. If that makes sense.
  5. unfortunately, i mostly learned with my dad... he is definitely not patient nor the best teacher. fortunately, i got the hang of it pretty quickly. took about a month and of half of driving almost every day before taking the test. my brother taught me parallel parking... still not good at it though... lol. to be honest, i hate driving. if i'm carpooling, it's always someone else driving... lol.
  6. i dont remember how long it took me, but i went to a driving school. the instructor was really nice probably in his 20's. was pretty cute too. haha. my dad tried to teach me and he'd get impatient and sigh his disappointed sigh and grumble and that'd make me not want to learn. which made him more frustrated.

    so i went to a school and learned in what i would say to be about 2 weeks? my trouble spots were merging (moving my head and eyes without moving my hands on the steering wheel at the same time) and turning right. i was great at turning left, but turning right i couldn't do it right.. i dont like to parallel park, but i will if i have to. i dont like reverse (backing into a space) parking.. and i hardly ever have to do that so i'm fine with it.
  7. I'm also from NYC and it took me a LOOONNG time to learn how to drive. I first got my learners permit when I was 19. Only because my ex got a POS car at the time, and he told me I wasn't going to be able to pass the test. I had zero interest in driving and I was also very fearful. Hell I didn't even care about cars in general at all. Anyway I had an appointment downtown brooklyn for something, and I happened to be standing outside the DMV, and I decided to go in an take the written test only because I needed an ID. I never even studied. I was in and out of there in 40 minutes. So I had this permit now but it didn't go further than that. Take this for irony. My apartment was literally across the street from a Driving School that I had to pass everyday to get to the train station. At no point in the 4 years I lived there, did it occur to me to go take lessons. (But I went in there to get my taxes done one year) And since New York gives you a 5 year permit, it wasn't a priority. Well my wake up call was when I joined the military and got stationed in South Jersey. No public transportation (not dependable like NYC) no bus on base, literally can't do a damn thing without a vehicle. And here I am with a NY permit and no driving experience whatsoever. I had to rely on friends, strangers, supervisors, and eventually my husband to get me around. (This caused a major strain in our marriage also) I felt helpless. After too many days of being the last one to leave work, I decided to try to take the road test in NY. Of course I failed horribly. So I decided well I live in New Jersey I might as well try to get a license here. Well I thought it the NJ written /Knowlegde skills (which is on a computer and 50 questions)was going to be easy, boy was I wrong. I failed 3 times and my NY permit was expired. I really thought this was a right of passage that I was going to never have and I really got depressed about it, and very discouraged. Not to mention my job was also putting pressure on me to get my license for job related duties. Plus I wasn't so young anymore, (27) It wasn't cute. I finally took an online driving course to be able to pass the knowledge skills test through It really helped and finally passed to get my permit. Then I had to wait 3 months (that's how it is in Jersey because of the GDL program) to be able to take my Road Test. Well after many fights with my husband (he isn't the best teacher) I called up a driving school. (Crossroads driving school, the best ever) they picked me up at my house. Took me driving for 3 hours straight, and it was raining off and on, we drove everywhere even on the highway. And the instructor was also a cop, go figure, he was awesome. He said to just relax, and don't worry about the people behind you and take your time. My weaknesses was braking and turning, he said I needed to slow down when I turn, and it took me a little while to always remember to signal, but all I had was the one lesson.Surprising Parallel parking came easy for me, maybe it's because it was a controlled space. I don't have to parallel park in Jersey anyway, so I'm not too worried. Then he picked me up an hour before my road test which was December 1st, 2006. He took me through the whole actual road test. So by the time I took it it was a piece of cake and I was no longer nervous. When that examiner told me I passed he gave me the paper to go get my license I almost cried. I couldn't believe. I was One month away from turning 29 and finally got my license. I still sometimes get the butterflies before I get in the car and I drive myself to work everyday. And get this, my part-time job is working at an AUTO PARTS store. Go figure. Now I love cars and are fascinated with them. I'm still working on getting my own "new" car, I'm driving my husbands Cadillac. I'm sorry for the long post, it's just this struck me because learning to drive was such a defining moment in my life ,I struggled so hard with it for so long, and now I finally feel so independent and "grown-up". Just take your time and relax and take in all of what the instructor is telling you. And if you don't feel comfortable with that school or instructor by all means switch. You'll get it don't worry. If I could do it, anyone can. I still got a long way to go myself. I have yet to drive somewhere really far, like from Jersey to New york but I will get there. I'm taking baby steps. I'm starting to know my way around town like the back of my hand though.
  8. The only way to learn how to drive and to perfect your driving is to PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. Have an experienced driver take you out often. You need more than just the on-the-road driving of driver's education.

    I was a HORRIBLE driver when I started out. I could not park at all, I would always end up crooked in my stall. I made wide turns. Sometimes I drifted out of my lane. I had no idea how to change lanes correctly. Needless to say, I didn't pass my first road test.

    After I got on the road more and just experienced driving with my dad and brother critiquing me, I got more confident. I think that's a major factor in how you drive, confidence. Obviously, if you're terrified the moment you get in the car, it's likely to show in the way you drive. Calm yourself down and try not to get nerves. If you screw up, don't beat yourself up about it, because then that will just make you more likely to make even more mistakes because you get even more nervous.

    Now, I'm a much better driver. I drive about 2+ hours most days commuting to school for the past two years. I can also park well now, including reverse parking which I used to be terrified of doing. The only thing that still gets me is parallel parking. Honestly, I'd rather find another stall or space in the road and walk further than try to parallel park my huge car.

    Cliff notes: practice, practice, practice. The more you get out on the road, the more comfortable you will be. I was once told by a former road test person at my local DMV that if a person was really nervous and uneasy on the road, it usually meant they didn't have enough practice. Be confident. :yes:

    Good luck and stay safe!
  9. I was really nervous when taking lessons so I did privates. I had to practice parallel parking a lot which I can't do any longer from not really using it. I could do it, but very painfully, lol. I did not pass my test the first time cuz I did one of those immediate disqualifying things like turn the wrong way into a residential area with a keep right sign. I was soo nervous I think I just psyched myself out. But, there were others I knew who had taken it three or four times so I just chilled out and rescheduled.

    I was by no means a lover of driving but over time I've relaxed a lot more now and am 10X better and not so uptight. It comes with time and not being so nervous. And not being so nervous takes practice. Whatever you feel your weaknesses are then focus on those so you are more comfortable.

    Good luck!
  10. I'm learning now too! I went with the AA driving school school first, but the man fell asleep!!!! I almost crashed into a wall.. this was when I didn't know how to turn properly or have experience using the breaks & we were coming up to a junction, I'm SO lucky there were no cars coming either way cuz I'd of gone straight into them!!!!

    Now I go with a private instructor from my town & he's SO much better, he makes me repeat stuff over & over which is good. Like the AA man would make me do something once & move on to the next thing, this one makes sure I do loads of one thing before I move on, which is much better!
  11. i had my first lesson the day of my birthday, may 5th and passed my test in the february. i had the greatest instructor, she had the attitude, its no good just driving you have to be able to talk and drive and listen to the radio too. on all of my lessons we would gossip and sing to the radio, i miss her, she was so fun.
  12. I took lessons with the AA for 12 months before he put me in for my test (which I failed). Then I took a break for six months and didn't drive at all. Then when I started to learn again with a new local instructor and I probably had about 6-7 lessons and passed. It really makes a difference who your instructor is, the first guy was a bit of an alcoholic who spent a lot of the lessons on the phone (should have seen the big warning signs!) and we spent more time laughing and talking than learning.

    The second time the guy was younger but more serious and pretty quiet which was what I needed to concentrate. Basically I should have switched a LOT earlier than I did, but at the end of the day I'm just happy I finally passed as everyone constantly laughed at how long it was taking me. What also helped was that second time around I spent a lot more time practicing with my Mum (which I hated as it always led to big arguements) but it really helped.

    omgblonde: I wonder if all AA instructors are like that? haha
  13. Ha Ha Cherry Pie that's so cute, and soo true. :sweatdrop: Me and my instructor kept talking about military stuff the whole time. It actually relaxed me. I remember the first time I drove to work I didn't even want to roll the window down (It's only a one button press) I was so nervous, I didn't want to take one hand off the wheel. But now I do it all, radio (I have to listen to the radio) windows, reach for my glasses out my purse, drink soda etc..I'd never thought I would be able to do all that, I even "practice" looking at my daughter in the car seat in back of me, even though she's not in the car with me:roflmfao:
  14. haha, maybe! Did yours take you on a four hour lesson? Mine a place that was like an hour from my house, so it was basically two hours of him driving (like a maniac, with his hands on the BOTTOM of the steering wheel just kinda swinging it?!!) & he only took me to a carpark..plenty of those in my town too haha :confused1:

    Glad you found a good instructor in the end :biggrin:
  15. I learned how to drive on my uncles farm and my mom would let me drive around the block.