My First Driving Lesson: A Journey from Nervous to Confident

By Luca Dalton

I recently had my first driving lesson, and it was an incredible experience. The lesson lasted an hour, and I was fortunate to have a brilliant instructor who made the whole process both informative and enjoyable. Here’s a detailed account of my first steps into the world of driving.

Meeting the Instructor
From the moment I met my driving instructor, I felt at ease. He had a calm demeanor and a wealth of experience (he taught my Mum, dad and older brother!), which immediately put my nerves to rest. We started with a brief introduction where he explained the plan for the lesson and what we would be covering. His structured approach gave me confidence that I was in good hands.

Getting to Know the Car
Our first task was to familiarise ourselves with the car’s key controls. This practical theory session was crucial and surprisingly interesting. We began with the basics:

  • Indicators: My instructor showed me how to operate the indicators, emphasising the importance of signaling in good time.
  • Electric Parking Brake: This was new to me. Unlike my car with a traditional handbrake, the car had an electric brake, which required just a button press to engage or release.
  • Mirrors: He explained the importance of adjusting all three mirrors before starting the car to ensure I had a clear view of my surroundings. He called them Bob and Tom!
  • Pedals: We went through the clutch, brake, and accelerator. My instructor demonstrated the correct way to press each pedal, highlighting the need for smooth and controlled movements.

Hands-On Practice
After the initial briefing, it was time to get behind the wheel. We drove to a quiet area, perfect for beginners. This location had minimal traffic, allowing me to focus on learning without the pressure of busy roads.

  • Driving Circuits: My first task was to drive in a circuit around the quiet streets. This exercise was about getting a feel for the car and practicing steering, acceleration, and braking. My instructor guided me patiently, offering tips on how to handle the car more smoothly.
  • Hill Start Practice: We then moved on to practicing hill starts, which I found challenging yet exciting. My instructor explained the technique: using the clutch and accelerator to prevent the car from rolling back while releasing the parking brake. After a few attempts, I began to get the hang of it, and the satisfaction of successfully performing a hill start was immense.
  • Clutch Control: Lastly, we focused on clutch control. This involved finding the biting point of the clutch and balancing it with the accelerator to move the car smoothly from a stop. It was tricky at first, but with my instructor’s clear instructions, I started to improve.

Building Confidence
Throughout the lesson, my instructor was encouraging and patient. He provided constructive feedback, which helped me correct mistakes and improve my technique. His supportive approach made a huge difference, and by the end of the lesson, I felt a significant boost in my confidence.

Reflecting on the Experience
Looking back on my first driving lesson, I realise how crucial it is to have a knowledgeable and supportive instructor. The hour flew by, and I learned so much in a short period. From understanding the car’s controls to gaining practical driving experience, the lesson was a perfect blend of theory and practice.

I left the lesson feeling excited about the road ahead. There’s still a lot to learn, but this positive start has set a strong foundation for my driving journey. I’m looking forward to my next lesson which is next week, ready to tackle new challenges and continue building my driving skills.