Saturday, April 12, 2008

My second driving lesson and not so much fun...

15mph Bumps street signYes, it's day 2 of my driving lessons in California and it's not so much fun today and slightly frustrating!

So I was told what all the knobs and switches were for on the car dashboard. Apparently, at the start of my test I'll be asked to indicate left and right when I'm parked, where my window heaters are, to turn on my headlights - parking, low and high beams (and how to flash them), and also how to use my windscreen wipers. So as you can imagine, that was the first half hour...

Next was lots more driving round in quiet streets and stopping at intersections and getting confused about 4-way stops and 2-way stops and how many times you're supposed to stop.

Then we practiced parking and reversing. Making sure to hold my left hand at 12 o'clock and put my right arm around the passenger seat and look out my back window. Apparently no parallel parking for the Californian test, but I will be asked to park and then reverse.

It was really sunny and hot today driving around Burbank and Glendale, around 90 degrees, so nice and sweaty when my lesson was over.
Green Burbank street signs with white writing
Plus I learnt something new today in that street signs in Burbank are green with white writing, whilst street signs in Glendale are usually white with black text on them and that's how you know you're in each place.

Another thing we learned the other day, is that not all hire car companies allow you to use their vehicles for driving tests, because of the insurance. So we're having to devise a cunning plan for Charlie to take his test and we think we're going to use my same driving instructor's car.

Anyway, back to my lesson and halfway through my second lesson, my instructor told me I was being too cautious at times and just needed to speed up a bit to fit in with the speed racers in L.A.

The funny thing is that as she's constantly spouting the rules, other drivers are blatantly flouting them. For example, a young Paris Hilton-esque turning out of a petrol (gas) station without stopping and talking on her mobile phone all the way without a clue in the world (roll on 1st July when the new hands-free laws come in I say). Loads of others obviously didn't know who had right of way at an all-way or 4-way stop. It's very frustrating!!

Ah well, will get there in the end. Apparently for teenagers who pass after the six hours of lessons, they are then required to do 50 hours of more parent/adult supervised driving, so feel better that after my next lesson on Monday I'm not expected to suddenly take to the road and be a total pro.

Anyway, popping out now for a spot of lunch...


Anonymous said...

You're (both) welcome to use my car for your driving test(s) if you'd like. It's older and already got many dings and dents, so if you happened to add one or two more it wouldn't really matter! (I'd suggest you practice with it before going for the test, though, since as I'm sure you know braking and gas pedal resistance varies significantly vehicle to vehicle!


Jason in Hollywood said...

Thanks Barry that's very generous.

J said...

The driving test is a whole lot more straightforward than the British driving test. Most of the foreigners I know who have failed did so because they stopped when they should not have stopped. (The other one failed because they hit the curb going around a corner.)

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