• Learning Curve: Driving Lessons

    For a few weeks I’ve been sticking within the prescribed boundaries when it comes to my driving lessons, not venturing far beyond the streets where I live, or when I do, I’ve been driven to the great beyond by the instructor rather than driving myself.

    But driving with instructor Richard Munday is a revelation, and soon enough we’re driving towards The Roundabout - that muli-laned roundabout which I’ve been told by others is pretty challenging even for a qualified driver and of which I’ve previously been told to steered well clear - in fact that roundabout has been built up in my mind as an insurmountable obstacle, shrouded in fear.

    But “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”, as Franklin D Roosevelt well knew. And my next few lessons will see me overcoming those fear barriers that have been build up since I’ve delayed learning to drive these past few years.

    My driving instructor Richard doesn’t seem to be fazed at all about me tackling the roundabout and all it takes is for a calm approach for me also not to feel fazed. Being able to absorb the information on the ground of various lanes, and road signs, whilst also keeping an eye on traffic is key - as well as making sure not to be bewildered by the sheer volume and speed of traffic. Indeed, breaking fear barriers - and making sure not to build any - is key to becoming a confident driver.

    “I love roundabouts”, says Richard and if I wasn’t driving I might’ve pinched myself to check he’d really said that. Richard’s enthusiasm for roundabouts is almost as profound as mine for chocolate. But the enthusiasm is soon contagious as we try out not only the major roundabouts, but smaller ones near Greenford, which can actually be tricker than the larger ones.

    Practice makes perfect, as the cliche goes, and the main thing is figuring out which is the correct turning to take and when to signal.

    All in all, this is a roundabout way of saying I’m now growing to enjoy the challenge of learning to drive...

    Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy lessons can be booked here

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  DISPATCH FROM PORTUGAL

  The National Travel section
  April 2012

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