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Driving With my Father

About S. Shalini

Born in September 1997, S. Shalini hails from Salem, Tamil Naidu. She is currently pursuing her final year B.A in English at KS Rangasamy College. Born to truck driver, Mr. V. Sakthivel and S. Sumathi, Shalini aspires to pursue further studies.

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I feel more comfortable learning to drive with a parent than another person. It is flexible to suit my schedule as not all driving instructors work on evenings and weekends. Driving lessons with an instructor can also become expensive. Learning to drive with an instructor may work most of the time though, because an instructor will ensure good skills. Parents might have picked up bad driving habits over their lifetime and could pass them onto their children. It is also very difficult for parents to teach driving.

I found having an enjoyable experience helps in learning driving. It is useful for everyone to practice driving by yourself. You gain experience and save money by reducing the amount of time needed to spend practising with an instructor.

Learning with a driving instructor requires you to changing your driving style to meet the instructor’s expectations, so learners may have different driving styles. They should regularly interact to discuss the aims of the lessons that the instructor is working to achieve. Parents should also observe the driving lessons with the instructor.

My father was a driving instructor, so naturally it was he who taught me to drive. He had been a drill instructor too, and was used to his commands being carried out without question.

He wanted me to get it correct at the first attempt. At the end of a session my neck would ache from several attempts to reverse around a corner. Once I hesitated for too long before emerging from a junction, he stated if we stay much longer the lady in the house opposite will bring us tea and biscuits. Another instance, we were on a wide lane road and I was encouraged to leave the near-side lane, switch to fourth gear, and take the highway crossing our path. I drove straight ahead across the first half of the road, then on the outskirts of the island, then the second half of the motorway and finally down the opposite road.

Later we went on my first on-road driving lesson. We approached the bottom of our road, where we were going. We were only about a mile away from home when I asked him a question and there was no answer. He was fast asleep. I shouted to wake him up. He asked why was I shouting and I replied that he had fallen asleep. He said he was tired, and besides, he knew I would be able to drive as he had let me drive his old tractor across the fields. I tried to tell him that was different and we were on actual road now, but he had fallen asleep again.

It was a proud moment, especially after having failed my first test after lessons with an instructor. When the first snow came that winter, my father taught me motorway driving skills.

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