7 things you immediately forget after passing your driving test
You've passed your driving test after months and months of driving like an angel. You've adhered to the highway code and can recite the safe braking distances in your sleep. There has never been a safer and better driver than you in your Nissan Micra 1.0-litre.
What happens next?
Well, the first few drives by yourself will be exhilarating. Just the open road and you, banging out some tunes and giving casual hellos to fellow road users as you are one of the gang now.
It is at this point where you start to let your guard down. The sheer elation and relief of passing your driving test have meant that you are letting bad habits slowly nestle their way into your skill-set.
Soon you will forget to indicate before you've started braking for a turning and it is at this point that there no turning back. Your angelic driving ways are at the point of no return and you are just like the rest of us. Welcome.
Here are the seven things you immediately forget after passing your driving test:
1) Ten 'n' two
Whilst driving at a leisurely pace down the road, you'd always been taught to keep your hands in the position of a clock face at 10 and 2. Apparently, this isn't the case today, but it was taught to the majority of us. Whilst this is good practice, after three hours of solid driving, your hands might start to slip.
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Within the first day of passing, you are already holding on to the bottom of the steering wheel with one hand and resting your other arm on the window because you are cool as fuck now.
2) Putting the handbrake on every time you stop
When you're learning to drive the handbrake is your best friend. Every hill start, every traffic jam, you use it every time you come to a halt as it stops you from slowly rolling to your death.
Now that you've passed and you are in a massive traffic jam on your way to work and you're already stressed because you're 10 mins late with one more strike before you get a written warning from Jeff, the prick, you don't see the point in putting the handbrake on every god-damned time you stop.
Now a little bit of revs and clutch slippage will suffice in order to get you through the monotonous driving commute to work.
3) Mirror, Signal and manoeuvre
This is the way you should do it. Have a glance in the mirror, flick on then indicator (not necessary for BMW drivers) then make your perfect manoeuvre.
The order of this goes out the window pretty quickly. You'll find yourself getting on the revs before you've even looked what's coming. When you do look, it will be over the shoulder and then you're off. I complete mess.
4) Parking properly
You're in a rush to pick up hummus from the shops before they close and you see a perfect bay to park in. With the clock ticking to get parked and into Lidl before they bring the shutters down, you need to make this parking manoeuvre a quick one.
What do you do:
A) Take the long-winded approach to reversing into the bay using all of your new parking skills, glancing at the mirrors and pulling off the perfect manoeuvre... oh look Lidl is closed.
B) Drive straight into the bay, nose first, get into Lidl, pick up the hummus and get to the soirée on time.
Also when you do have to reverse park, I'll put money on you just looking over your shoulder with one hand on the back of the passenger seat.
5) Shuffle hands
A.k.a 'the good old push and pull.'
When you're learning to drive, you are taught to feed the steering wheel with the push and pull technique. This is supposed to allow smooth transitions and turns so nobody gets hurt.
This was the first thing that went out of the window when I passed my test. I don't condone bad driving techniques, but the push and pull technique is just shit. Crossing my arms might seem more dangerous on paper, but I can react quicker and it feels more natural. Plus I don't look like my grandma.
6) Hand on the gearstick
A symptom of abandoning the ten 'n' two hand positions, resting your hand on the gear stick is a very easy habit to pick up. My driving instructor used to slap my hand when I kept it on the gear stick, the shit.
When you have confidence driving, you want to be engaged with the car and properly drive it. With your hand on the gear stick, you are ready for action and poised to make that sweet, sweet gear change.
7) Checking mirrors every 3 seconds
Again, this is probably good practice, but when you are trying to pass your test, the instructor is looking for you to look in your mirrors on a regular basis.
The result of this is that you look like a prat jolting your neck to make it 100% clear that you have just checked your mirrors for danger. You probably weren't even properly taking into account what you'd just seen in your mirrors as you were just concentrating on that fact that your instructor had seen you.
Well, now that you have passed, you have the freedom to check your mirrors a normal amount and not like you're the girl from the Exorcist.
What other bad habits have you picked up since passing your test? Are there any other good driving practices specific to your countries that you know of? Let me know in the comments.