Lesson #5 Thursday 27.10.22 6:15pm
Milan, awesome lesson today! I’m looking forward to you progressing to sitting your restricted test. You are almost ready. And when I say almost – it’s just now the fine tuning.
Think about yesterday’s hill start. You’ve got to get used to using the handbrake – whether it is a mechanical handbrake that you pull on, or an electronic one that you use your fingers and will automatically go off when you accelerate. Try now in your practice to put it on every time you’re going to be stopped for more than a few seconds. That gives you time to move to your accelerator and gently pull off. And then just note you don’t accelerate until you’re absolutely comfortable to do so. Think of the parallel park, think of your low speed maneuvering – I want you to do it as quickly as possible, ie not stopping in between sections to think about what to do, but rather you can do it in a constant flow – because think about if a car was pulled up behind you waiting. So you want to be really 20seconds the whole thing done. However, the low speed is the key, because as you turn left left left to find your angle and then right once twice to straighten up if you come flying back you’ve lost the ability to pull in the car. So you must practice parallel park, 3-point turn and u-turn. Go back to the road code online if you need to clarify anything, or the “Drive” YouTube channel has some really informative videos.
Apart from that, Milan, I would say that you just need to be careful of accelerating too quickly too fast, because this will prevent you on the test from seeing things that need to be reacted to. So maintaining a speed limit is great, but it’s also about easing off the accelerator so you can see things ahead and react in time. Flush medians were pretty good – I do want you to look now in your practice at how many flush medians you can see if you’re turning out to the right, and think about consistently, those who are coming in at the top of the T – I have to give way / they go before me.
Anyway Milan, I look forward to seeing you again. Prior to your test, my suggestion would be to do a pre-test assessment a couple of weeks before your test. And also potentially a pre-drive settle-in with you an hour before your test. Speak soon
Lesson #4 – Monday 03.10.22
Fantastic driving Milan, taking your father’s land rover discovery over to the Massey test route, which involved leaving your home, navigating through Titirangi, all the way down to do some motorway driving. What we talked about working on was just your lane position – looking at where are you positioned within your motorway lane, just a little bit more on your head checks, thinking about parallel parking practice, and navigating the right hand turn into flush median, along with being prepared with your speed control, and just giving yourself enough time to carry everything out. Awesome job!
Lesson #3 – Wednesday 28.09.22 3:30pm
Milan, what a fantastic drive! Having not caught up with you for quite a number of weeks, I can really see how the practice has begun to solidify your driver skillset. I think the main thing is that going in your father’s car, the land rover discovery sport, has really helped you to understand how to control a vehicle. Although mum’s car is luxurious and beautiful, it isn’t great for vision. so your father’s car – fantastic. Obviously we started with the familiarization with the the cabin, so you must make sure that when you turn up for the test all the lights are fully operational, that your horn works, that you know know where your front and rear screen de-misters are, as well as handbrake, and you’ll be able to explain that your handbrake is electronic, and does comes off when you , accelerate gently.
So my feedback is that having completed motorway driving today, I instantly felt that you were confident enough and capable enough to do that, so well done, fantastic driving. I think that you and I have a good connection from instructor to student so that you’re able to take the time to absorb what I’m asking and that you’re able to carry that out smoothly. So feedback is great lane position, although I do want you to focus on when you’re rural driving, trying to stay a little bit left on the solid white line, without touching that line. So I really want you to focus in your practice, because as you come around a corner into a left hand corner, staying as far left without being on the line gives you the best chance of anyone coming towards you – so a bit of defensive driving there. Motorway driving, the onramps were very good, obviously understanding that you need to practice these now with your mum or dad, both onramps and off ramps. So onramps your psychology changes from urban to motorway, you stay at the speed limit until you hit the motorway sign, which could be 80 or 100, and then you go for it, matching your speed with the traffic, dealing with any merges on the onramp, and then gently merging in knowing that you might need to decelerate to match the traffic to merge like a zip with indication and only upon a successful head check. And if you need to do another head check as you are merging gently, do so. And keep all that info moving forward in case your forward moving motorway environment changes suddenly. Off ramps the same thing in reverse. If you can do some practice with mum or dad – onramps and offramps, onramps and offramps, noting what do those onramps and offramps contain that you need to be watching out for? How do you stop for those red traffic lights? Noting that even if you’re the only car, you still stop. How many merges are there? Are there 2 merges including a bus lane? So just figure that out. And then my last bit of feedback is that I left you with a strategy for parallel parking, which I’d really like you to practice as this is now the most technical part of any driving test. So that strategy of pulling in, left head check, left indicator, slightly in front of the car, 1m apart. Front wheel to back wheel, nice and straight, with all head checks and a complete big picture. Keep a nice consistent crawl going while you go left left left until you get an almost 90 degree angle. Straighten up the wheel twice to get back straight on – and that’s where speed can make it be destroyed. So going back on a crawl, and then flipping the car in right right right . And then looking at your front passenger wing, almost as it’s in, flick left once, left twice, as you are moving, and that’ll allow you to straighten forward. So practice practice, and then let’s look at after the school holidays to catch up again. Now as far as your restricted driving test, I feel confident if you wanted to book it in December, what I’d like to do on the next lesson if you go ahead and find a date in mid-December, I would like to meet you again in a couple of weeks and go to the VTNZ in Westgate Massey, it being one of the hardest restricted test course routes, so that anywhere else you indeed get a booking will be easy compared to there. Ok thanks very much.
Lesson 2 Wednesday 15th June 2:00-3:30 pm in student parent’s vehicle
A solid second lesson all based around the central component of steering correctly. Getting your seating position feeling comfortable right from the beginning is essential and we covered a rural open road drive technique to look into the corner as far as you can see and hugging lightly the left hand side of a left corner whilst hugging lightly towards the right hand side of a right hand bend. Take a look at the steering video on your personalised page here. If you can now practice that technique every time you are driving before we next meet. If you can also remember to walk into junctions so that you separate in your mind the steering aspect from the speed of your vehicle. Remember, steering requires a lot less speed that we often realise.
Lesson 1 Wednesday 25th May 2:00-3:30 pm in Company Dual Control
We had our first lesson together, and it was an excellent first lesson! You seemed to be a bit nervous with getting around steering since the Suzuki was a bit more sensitive with the steering wheel you’re used to at the moment with mum’s car. As this was your first lesson, you were not quite sure where you should be placed on the road. We focused on steering during this lesson, which was a really good opportunity to learn the push and pull method or the overarm method.
My suggestion is to take a dinner plate and hold it with both hands then try turning it completely in a 360-degree turn whilst having only one hand on the wheel at all times. This is the push and pull method.
You are a very courteous driver and a great student so will have no problems getting your restricted license successfully.
As you practice looking at lane position for 12 seconds ahead, practicing firm steering and using the push and pull method, the little dance on the steering wheel where you always have one hand on, but being conscious of where you are pushing to get the wheel to where you want it to go.
I would like you to remember to carry out your head checks looking over your shoulder briefly to scan the rear of your car so you can see if there is a hidden cyclist. Never change lane position until you carry out a head check first before you pull or change position on the road.
I look forward to seeing you in our next lesson.