Learning to drive isn’t just about practicalities and mechanics.
It’s not just a bid for freedom by teens and by their parents, who are sick of driving them around to hundreds of activities each and every year.
It’s also a status symbol, as in, “Hey, look at me! I’m learning how to drive. Future grownup bringing up the rear…”.
This is why your teenager will be quite eager for one of those official driving instructor cars to pull up at the school gate and take them for a lesson that ends at their home. Because their friends will SEE them get into that car and know that they will soon have their licence.
There’s just one little problem…
Driving well in front of your friends is quite a challenge. Each afternoon when my driving instructor picked me up for my lesson I would get behind the wheel and try and drive as well as I knew I could, as a crowd of people watched.
But I never quite managed it.
Being a bit of an over-achiever, I was learning to drive on a manual car. No auto for me! And so what should have been a smooth and easy drive away from the school gate and along the road looked a bit more like one of those rapper’s cars that bounces in time to the music.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Nissan Pathfinder. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
Except my car was dancing to nothing.
“You never can get that take off right, can you?” my instructor teased. He was well aware that I had a particular problem driving when people I knew were watching, but was perfect when nobody I knew was around.
Then he said, “Jo, I’m not sending you for your driving test until you can drive well in front of anybody.”
And he was true to his word.
As my driving improved, he started forcing me to do laps of the school so that I would pass everyone not one time, but several times. He would ask me to perform a three-point-turn in front of the bus bay and then drive right past that front gate again. He made me REVERSE PARK in front of the school.