THE TOUGHEST LESSONS IN LEARNING TO DRIVE IN NOVA SCOTIA
E veryone learns differently. You may find a particular skill or idea easy to get—but your best friend will struggle for days with it. Good teachers know that everyone learns differently, but they anticipate those difficulties in advance. They work with their students to ensure mastery, finding ways through, around, and over the difficulties.
Driving requires the use of your mind, your senses, and your body—all have to be coordinated to ensure that you and others on the road get to where they want to be safely. Some of those skills are tougher than others, but your Nova Scotia driving school instructor works to make sure that your know how to do everything you need to—one step at a time.
Night driving is difficult for everyone, and safely driving at night requires practice. Even with high beams on, you can’t see everything you need to see. Night also limits your ability to see colors. Your field of vision is limited largely to your front, where the headlights are. And you’re relying on other drivers to have their lights on, both on the road and off to the side—in driveways or side roads. Sometimes, they don’t.
While your road test will not involve night driving, it is a crucial skill you will need to be a safe driver. If you know a few key tricks for night driving, you will be a safe driver.
Make sure your headlights are properly aimed—especially in your own car. Car headlights are not aimed at the factory with you in mind—and sometimes they may not be aimed for any human. Work with your family to find the right place to point them.
You will find it easier to see through the windshield if your dashboard lighting is dimmed—the glare can be distracting.
Animals are fascinated by bright lights—and the lights are reflected in their retinas. Look ahead to make sure you and the animals don’t run into each other.
Keep your windshield clean—streaks which are invisible by day may reflect headlights at night.
Fog lights may help—and not just in fog. Because they’re set to spread wider, you may be able to see more off the edges of the road.
As you learn to drive around Bedford or Halifax, Nova Scotia, you should practice night driving with an experience driver—parent, guardian, or driving school instructor. Most driving schools will make it possible to get some night sessions in. Regardless, however, it’s a skill which requires practice.
Parallel parking tends to be the skill most new drivers fear—and that fear isn’t helped by all the experienced drivers who also fear parallel parking. Many veteran drivers will park farther away from their destination just to avoid the performance of parallel parking.
And it is a performance. You have to come to a stop, back carefully, and make it seem smooth—and not every situation will go smoothly. You may feel that every eye is on you—and certainly the eyes of the cars behind you will be waiting for you to finish.
Remember that parallel parking is one of the driving skills which is a process. Each stop follows on each other—and only if the previous steps are successful. Remember, though, it’s OK to start it all again—after letting the people behind you pass.
- Start even with the car in front of you—front door to front door.
- Slowly back and turn the wheel to the right—looking at both the camera screen and over your shoulder. Go slowly.
- When you are even with the rear bumper, stop. Turn the wheel to the left to straighten the tires, and continue in reverse.
- When the right front fender clears the car in front, turn the wheel all the way to the left—you should just pop into the space.
- Make adjustments as needed.
Learning to drive around New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, your driving instructor will provide you with the patient guidance as you work through this skill. Not only is it required on the road test, but you’ll need it as long as you drive. And you’ll be able to avoid those long walks to your destination.
Some people will be lucky enough—or cursed—to learn to drive in a car with manual transmission. Manuals add to the level of difficulty while learning, because they require very close coordination between both feet and one hand. The transmission or clutch many be sensitive—and if you don’t coordinate everything well, the car will jerk as the gears grind.
The clutch therefore gets strained, although it won’t go while you’re learning to drive. As one student’s father said to us, however, “A clutch going earlier is just the price of having a student driver in the house.” Relax and learn.
You will have to demonstrate how to use the manual transmission on your driving test if you’re using that car on your road test. Make sure you know how to downshift safely when coming into a turn or stop. The Nova Scotia examination scoring form has specific items examiners look for when students drive cars with manual transmissions.
Your Nova Scotia driving school will work with you to learn all the skills you need to pass and excel as a manual transmission driver. As you work through your driving practice, however, keep all these skills in mind.
Conversations Without Eye Contact
Eye contact is expected in many—but not all—cultures during a conversation. Each culture has “rules” for eye contact—and they may vary. But in general, eye contact shows that you are interested in what the other person has to say. It says you are engaged in conversation with them.
When you are driving, however, do not make eye contact with your passengers while having a conversation. Looking at the other people in the care means that you are not keeping your eyes on the road—which is where you should be looking—front, sides, and mirrors.
Your eyes should be moving, scanning the road ahead—sometimes one to two blocks ahead—as you drive around New Glasgow, Bedford, or Halifax, NS. The other people can end up being distractions from what you are supposed to be doing—getting them somewhere safely.
Your Halifax driving school instructor is aware of this and will help you with this skill—the driver will, after all, be giving you instructions. It’s ok to ask for instructions to be repeated, but the important driving skill of eyes-on-the-road will keep you safe, and ensure that you will enjoy the company of others for many years to come.
Learning To Drive
As you learn to drive in Nova Scotia, you will find that many skills come easily—but some you’ll have to work on. There’s no rule about it. Your Nova Scotia driving instructor is there to help you get that work done, as well as give you reinforcement for the skills you pick up on quickly.
As you work through your driver’s training, it is your effort which will make the most difference. Make sure you practice the things you struggle with as well as find easy. If you do, everyone will be safe.