In every situation in life, there's always a way to make a tit of yourself
Being able to drive is great, not least because it allows you to avoid all aforementioned (https://alotlikejen.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/the-awkward-guide-to-public-transport/) issues that can arise when travelling by bus. You get to choose who shares your journey with you, most of the time, unless you’re being hijacked of course. You are afforded a certain level of control over the general smell of the inside of your car. Unless your engine is smoking and filling your car with unpleasant toxic gases, in which case the smell is probably the least of your concerns. And you don’t have to stop every 37 seconds to let someone get out, unless your driving is really that atrocious.
However, getting to the stage where the government feels you can be trusted with a sacred pink driving license instead of a woefully inadequate green one is not great, not great at all. It took me quite some time to graduate to pink. There is some dispute in my family about whether I took 4 or 5 tests, I only remember 4 so either they’re exaggerating or one of them was so terrible that I’ve blocked it out. If anyone asks, it’s 4.
Having experienced more than my fair share, probably more than two people’s fair share, of learning to drive I feel well-placed to dispense advice on how to avoid the awkward pitfalls that accompany this stressful and trying process.
– Firstly, it’s generally best to not misjudge a traffic calming device and end up with your instructor having to change a wheel within the first 15 minutes of your first lesson. Especially when your instructor is slightly overweight and clearly hasn’t changed a wheel since the mid-80s. This does tend to result in red faces and embarrassment all round, as well as the cracking of uncomfortable jokes in an effort to break the awkward silence that follows.
– It’s all too easily done, but try not to confuse the accelerator and the brake. Particularly when attempting to execute an emergency stop. That can be quite exciting.
– Do not find yourself laughing uncontrollably because your instructor just told you to “creep and peep” at the next junction, they don’t think it’s that funny.
– Remain calm when attempting to reverse around a corner that seems to be a tiny bit steeper than the north face of the Eiger. Yes you need to rev the engine, but don’t panic and get a bit carried away. You’re probably driving a Ford Focus, it probably shouldn’t sound like a Boeing 747 preparing for take-off when you’re doing a fairly simple manoeuver.
– It is important to check your rear-view mirror regularly. It is crucial for your self-esteem and panic-levels to not check the rear-view mirror when you have just stalled 3 times at traffic lights and totally missed the green light.
– When executing a 3-point turn, try not to accidentally execute a 577-point turn. Points do not mean prizes.
– Try not to indicate with the wind-screen wipers, this is not usually very effective.
– When approaching a junction with multiple lane options this is not a time for indecision. Have faith in your convictions. Under no circumstances veer wildly and at random from one lane to another.
– Finally, and perhaps most importantly, by all means swerve to avoid flattening squirrels, pigeons and other assorted woodland creatures. However, do not swerve if your attempts to save a small furry animal will send you hurtling into oncoming traffic.
The Awkward Guide accepts no responsibility for adverse reactions to the implementation of advice supplied herein. Side-effects can include: smug laughter, mild disdain, and temporary irritation