Rebecca Ashton - Commercial learning and development manager
When you think back to your driving lessons, what do you remember? Your driving instructor perhaps? The poor long-suffering soul who stuck with you through thick and thin. The emergency stops? The time you clipped that kerb?
I have heard many fun stories about events on tests and remember my own very well. I also remember the first drive on my own in the car. I loved it – freedom at last! I used to make my parents laugh by always offering to pop out if anyone needed anything just to be able to drive my car. But at the same time – if I’m really honest – I was nervous.
Most people learn as they go along, improving gradually. The nerves begin to drop away. Sometimes they get it wrong. But what many don’t take into account is that like most skills, driving can also be more enjoyable when we’re better at it.
In other things we do, we take extra lessons without giving it a second thought. My husband can play golf pretty well already but he still takes golf lessons every now and again. And he always comes back saying they have benefited his game.
Driving is no different. I had a friend who went to great lengths to avoid using motorways. After a few months of me nagging she eventually agreed to come out on a motorway with me and let me give her a few tips. Now there is no stopping her.
The good news is that just a few small changes can make a massive difference to your driving enjoyment. And being more observant is a fantastic place to start.
Firstly, when you are in your car try raising your sight line up a little – this’ll mean you’re looking at the road ahead; not directly in front of you.
In addition look for visual clues to what’s coming up around the next bend. If you see a lot of wheelie bins all neatly placed outside people’s houses the chances are the refuse collectors have not been yet. If they are not quite so neatly placed there is a good chance the rubbish truck will be just around the corner ahead of you.
The same applies when driving in a rural area on narrow roads. If you see a lot of people standing on the opposite side of the road at a bus stop the likelihood is the local bus is due and you should be ready to meet it.
And while becoming more observant will improve your driving, it can actually make the journey more fun too. You might be surprised by the things you notice when you really start taking in the scenery you drive through.