I’m going for my driving test tomorrow – and I won’t lie, I’m more than a little nervous.
I’ve been on my Ls for about 7 years (so, not long – ha) I’ve always been a little anxious around cars – both in them and just in general. I have for as long as I can remember always been just a little jumpy as a passenger.
A few years ago my Dad was talking about the fact that neither my brother or I have our full licences, despiting having been on our L plates for some time, and at the time neither of us were showing any interest in being able to to drive, and he wondered aloud if that had anything to do with the fact my brother and I had been in a car vs truck accident when we were very young. So young I don’t actually remember the accident. I have wondered this also, whether it’s a deeply buried memory or growing up knowing about the event, it seems to have made a lasting impression on me.
Even though neither my brother, I or my mother, who was driving, was seriously injured – no doubt it would have been scary at the time. From what I understand both the car and the truck’s trailer were a write-off.
So even at times when I’m passenger I feel a little jumpy. I’m constantly anticipating an accident. I see hazards when perhaps they aren’t really a threat. I sometimes have to not look ahead, or focus on something else, to keep calm.
Which I obviously can’t do when I’m driving. I have to stay focused – and I have to actively look for potential hazards. Probably why I didn’t worry too much when I sat my “Hazard Perception Test” – I’m more than qualified to perceive hazards.
If anything as a driver that is my biggest fault. I’m a careful, conscientious driver. I drive a little bit slower, I leave a little bit more distance between myself and the car in front, I wait a little longer at an intersection for a bigger gap in traffic to pull into, I prepare myself to give way even if maybe I didn’t have to and I take my time when merging and changing lanes. These traits may not necessarily be the worst things for a new and nervous driver to have.
Though I worry how this will play out in my driving test. Will I drive TOO slow and wait TOO long?
My other concern is my ability to reverse parallel park – I don’t always get it right the first time, sometimes I do need to pull out and try again.
Though I really appreciated the way my driving instructor talked about failing – he said if you fail that’s a good thing, because the test isn’t about tricking you, or being hard, it’s they want to see you can do it on your own. If you can’t do it on your own – you want to fail. So when you do pass, you know that you can drive away a competent, confident, driver.
And if I’m perfectly honest what makes me nervous is not just “What if I fail?” my driving test – it’s “What if I pass?”
Though my mum gave me good advice for that, she said as soon as I get my Ps (whether it’s this time around or in the future) she suggested I should go for a drive on my own on that day, as soon as possible, to get that “first drive” on my own out of the way, so then the next time I want to actually go somewhere, it’s not that scary, because I’ve already done it.
But really I can’t wait. I can’t wait to go where I want, when I want. I can take my little boy to play dates after school, I don’t have to ask my partner to drive me to the shops, I can drive to friend’s houses, I can visit my mum – I could go for a drive just for the sake of it! All on my own! Nothing will be holding me back (well, except, petrol price… this is going to be something I have to start thinking about now!)
So that’s it, by this time tomorrow I’ll either be on my Ps, or I’ll be waiting a little while and trying again.
Did you get your drivers licence on the first go, or did you have to try a couple of times?