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driving alone for the first time

(23 Posts)
bonniej Wed 16-Mar-05 14:48:49

I've just returned from my first ever experience of driving alone (dd in the back). I went to the local library which is only a couple of minutes away. I was really nervous and everything was going ok until I went to turn into what I thought was the entrance to the car park, but was in fact the pedestrian entrance (not wide enough for my car!) I then had to reverse back out onto the main road (really really scary) and continue down to the proper entrance. I then parked in the car park thinking I'd done a good job and was nice and straight, but when I got out I'd straddled two bays. Does it ever get any easier . I can't park to save my life. The driving instructors car had little markings on it to help with parking manoevers which doesn't help in rl. My car has no markers and is a different size. Maybe I was safer on the bus

nnosam Wed 16-Mar-05 14:51:30

dont worry about it... my dad is a driving teacher and i cant drive yet... you can get little stickers to put on the windows to help with parking, but would have though with time you will get better and it will get easier.

LIZS Wed 16-Mar-05 14:54:45

It will get better but I'm still a hopeless parker ! I hate driving to different places and like to know I can park ok before I set off. Do you have remote operated mirrors ? I sometimes find it easier to switch the passenger side one down so I can see the line on the ground or kerb to use as a guide.

sweetmonkey Wed 16-Mar-05 14:55:27

its always daunting at first when you go out alone but give it time and you will be fine,
day i passed my test i was drving home and my tyre blew which wasnt good, luckily though people came and helped me and i managed to carry on, its one of those things
just give it time
you will be ok

NomDePlume Wed 16-Mar-05 14:56:57

CONGRATULATIONS on your first trip

bonniej, don't be disheartened. It takes time to get used to the dimensions of your own car, after learning to drive in a different one. Re the parking bays - next time you park and you're not sure how you've done, just open your door an inch and peep at the floor. If you can see the line within a foot of the side of the car then you're fine, any more and just reverse out and roll back in a bit straighter.

One of my prev driving instructors also had the sticker in the back windscreen. When I went to my last instructor (the one I passed with), I asked him why he didn't have the markers. He told me that they give a completely false sense of security, pretty much citing the dilemma you have as the reason.

nikcola Wed 16-Mar-05 14:57:06

i hate parking too and to be honest i cant park to save my life but it should i hope get eaasier

bonniej Wed 16-Mar-05 14:57:41

that's a good tip Lizs I'll try anything. I had been thinking about sticking markers on the car nnosam but not sure where to stick them!

NomDePlume Wed 16-Mar-05 14:57:49

Reversing in I always drop my mirrors so I can see the bay markings. HTF are you supposed to know where you are driving if you don't ?!

bonniej Wed 16-Mar-05 15:00:40

I'll do that next time, Nomdeplume. As I'd already got out of the car when I noticed how badly I'd parked I felt silly getting back in so I just left it. Checking by opening the door before getting out is a great tip

NomDePlume Wed 16-Mar-05 15:01:49

You only have to open it a tiny bit, much less embarrasing than getting out, locking up and then realising you've parked diagonally

bonniej Wed 16-Mar-05 15:01:52

that's what I thought! I couldn't see the white lines so just sort of guessed (bad guess obviously). Dropping mirrors is another great tip! I'll be parking like dh in no time with all this help

NomDePlume Wed 16-Mar-05 15:04:27

Some people's parking scares me. DH just swings into spaces, not all that slowly . It looks like he narrowly misses the other car everytime. He has been driving for ummmmmm, 19 years though !

nikcola Wed 16-Mar-05 15:04:41

i dont do reverse parking i just cant do it i hate it when people watch you park particually men

NomDePlume Wed 16-Mar-05 15:06:11

It always makes me cock it up when people watch (more so than usual)

bonniej Wed 16-Mar-05 15:08:37

don't you just feel as if everyones watching. I have to reverse park into a small space outside my house as we don't have a drive. I only passed my test at the beginning of this month and have only driven with dh up until today. He couldn't understand why I had so much trouble parking outside (even though our car is a huge vauxhall omega estate and I learnt to drive in a tiny car)! I've managed to pursuade him to part ex it for an astra now which is far more manageable.

nikcola Wed 16-Mar-05 15:14:48

im a really nervous driver but i took my P plates off on sunday and people dont stare a me as much anymore,

but i still wont go anywhere where i no i cant park , my best mate lives on a main road and u have to reverse on her drive so i park outside and bib the horn and she runs aut and parks it for me

nikcola Wed 16-Mar-05 15:18:22

bonniej, look for the thread i started call scared of driving there are some good tips on there xx

bonniej Wed 16-Mar-05 15:19:45

thanks, nickola I'll look that one up. I could do with all the help I can get! I was considering getting P plates but my instructor said not to cos people take advantage when they see them, so i'm not sure whether to or not

nikcola Wed 16-Mar-05 15:23:55

i would get them as some people get angry well they have with me anyway! u could try putting P plate on and see if it makes a diffrence x

alux Wed 16-Mar-05 15:43:11

all cars I have driven have 2 grooves down each side of the front bonnet. they give an idea where the front wheel arches are. use these as a guide to guesstimate where your wheels are in relation to the white lines/curb. also helpful to avoid bumps in the road

NomDePlume Thu 17-Mar-05 10:27:45

I never used P Plates, I didn't want to be reminded that I was a newbie driver, I felt enough of a leper with those bloody great red 'L's on the car.

Prufrock Sat 19-Mar-05 08:10:33

Bonnie I passed 2 weeks ago but have since done quite a lot of trips on my own (including all the way to Cambidge - an hours drive). The more you drive the easier it gets, honestly. Just yesterday I parked easily in a space that 4 weeks ago driving with dh it had taken me 7 attempts to get into!
I would second all of NdP's advice. And always reverse into parking spaces - it is wierdly easier than going in forwards. And lastly - so what if you straddle 2 bays, or take a long time - you aren't killing anyone. Everyone driving a car had to get used to parking - even your dh. The fact that they can't remeber being nervous doesn't mean they weren't. Just keep telling yourslef that if you weren't safe to drive, you wouldn't have passed your test, and now that you have, you have as uch right to be n the roads as any other driver.

pixel Sat 19-Mar-05 19:38:19

Having lived for years in areas where the parking was terrible I learned to park in tiny spaces with the greatest of ease. But give me a lovely big space and it takes me several attempts. Very odd.

I've been driving for nearly 20 years and I've had the same car for the last 10. We've recently moved to a close where the kerb bends slightly round and do you think I can park the bloomin thing? Always hitting the kerb or finding I'm miles out.

Rest assured even experienced drivers struggle sometimes, you just stop letting it worry you so much, and stop imagining that everyone is watching you!

Of course there are those occasions when you do a perfect manouvre and then realise that you DID have an audience (building site or something)then you can just act casual as though you do it all the time!

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