Driving Lesson 3
On arriving at the training area, my driving instructor said that on this driving lesson we will be dealing with approaching junctions to turn left first, and later right. However before we started that, we would have a quick recap of the last lesson using some Q&A and try moving off and stopping for a couple of times to make sure that I had not forgotten these essential driving skills.
I forgot to mention in my last driving lesson that I changed gears, going up to 3rd gear, I mentioned this because I had some problems with gears while dealing with junctions.
Having successfully completed moving off and stopping a couple of times, my ADI pulled me over on the left of the road so that he could give me a briefing on approaching junctions to turn left (he always takes out this book with pictures and abbrevations when introducing a new subject), but I partly blocked someone's driveway, so he told me to move forward, and reminded me of SCALP.
In order to sucessfully deal with junctions according to the DSA standard, I will have to use a new system (not another one!) called MSPSL, this is an expansion of MSM which I was introduced to during my last driving lesson.
Mirrors. Since I was going to be turning left, it will be interior and left exterior.
Position. I was told to use the normal driving position, a door's width from the side of the road or parked vehicles.
Speed. I should keep the car at a brisk walk pace when about to turn left, and should usually be in 2nd gear.
Look. As I approach, I need to be looking at the junction for pedestrians about to cross or already in the road (I must give way to people that are already on the tarmac), obstructions in the road I'm about to turn into, as well as other cars.
With the driving theory dealt with, it was time to practice the real thing as required on the DSA test.
I was fully concentrating on previous skills I'd learnt, so did POM when moving off, checked my mirrors as I got into the road and accelerated, changing into the 2nd gear. 'We are going to be taking the next road on the left' my instructor says, and then proceeds to give me a full talk through (it's hard listening to him and doing at the same time), but I had problems steering, and was wide going round so my instructor had to help me get the car back in control.
We spent considerable time practicing this, with my instructor reducing the amount of instructions as we dealt with a few junctions to the left, after a while I got the jest of it, and was able to independently approach a junction in the car turn left without any assistance from my driving instructor.
Approaching a junction to turn right
Time for another look at that book of my ADI as we now want to tackle junctions to the right. From the diagram, we still need to use MSPSL, but the only changes are the position of the car is now just to the left of the lane divider, and I have to be more cautious as oncoming cars have priority which means I might have to stop the car, something that I didn't have to do for the left handed junctions.
The first two attempts when well, probably because I now could steer the car, was well into the hand of things as the driving lessons was almost an hour in, but more importantly I hadn't dealt with any oncoming vehicles.
During my third attempt of turning right, there were 2 oncoming cars as I approached the junction, and I was still in 2nd gear, trying to not have to stop, when the car shook and stalled! I panicked and didn't apply the handbrake and the car started to roll forward as I had put the gears into neutral position. My instructor used his brake to stop the car, asked me to apply the handbrake and then restart the engine. By the time this was done, the junction was clear so I continued.
It was a very interesting but hard driving lesson, but I learnt a lot and hope that I'm able to remember it all for my next session. Looks like it's going to be ages before I will be ready for the DSA driving test, but a least I'm in a better position than I was before my first lesson.