First time driving

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by lu0s3r322, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. lu0s3r322 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois, USA
    #1
    I drove for the first time today in my drivers' education class. I got a C- grade, which is the average according to the teacher. The responsiveness of the gas pedal surprised me.

    I need to improve my turns and my acceleration, im not good with the gas pedal.

    Any tips? Much appriciated.
     
  2. R.Youden macrumors 68020

    R.Youden

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    #2
    Learn good clutch control, especially if you live in a hilly area!
     
  3. Hummer macrumors 65816

    Hummer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Location:
    Queens, New York NY-5
    #3
    You'll get used to it. I was surprised also and now that I drive regularly I couldn't see it being any different. Just beware, when you get too comfortable, all of us young drivers have the tendency to speed.

    I'm not sure, but does drivers education teach beginners with a manual transmission? If so I am in big big big big trouble.
     
  4. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    #4
    All it really takes is practice. I drove around empty parking lots a lot when I was learning how to drive. I was also learning to drive a manual transmission at the same time so it took a little longer, but it could still work for starting, stopping and turning.

    I remember the first time I drove an automatic and being shocked at how responsive the gas pedal was. I've noticed though that between different cars, the gas pedal has a more universal feel to it than the brake pedal. The sensitivity on them various a lot from car to car.
     
  5. 00hkelly macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #5
    learn to drive a manual its the best thing you will ever do if you want to drive a car abroad, holidays.etc. also just get as much practice as possibe its about muscle memory as much as anything. I live in UK and passed my driving test about 6 months ago
     
  6. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    #6
    I would reccomend this as well, but sadly, driving a stick shift is becoming a lost art here in the states. It is hard to even find someone who owns one to learn on. I blame it on the bad traffic in major cities. I drove stick a couple times in horrible traffic in Chicago, Seattle... After awhile it feels like you've run a marathon.

    I honestly am disgusted with America's bent on using the car for everything. Over all my advice would be to get your license, and then live somewhere you can walk to work, or walk to public transit to get to work, and then rent a car when you need one :D (Yes, I plan on practicing what I preach, just got to convince my wife ;) )
     
  7. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #7
    AHAHA, IM done walking, I walked to school for 12 years. I drive everywhere now.

    I would never take the bus, I like the freedom of the open road and the piece and quite of going where I want when I want, and not have to listen to a screaming kid in the back.

    The problem is not to many cars on the road but the roads not designed well enough to handle the cars.
     
  8. paleck macrumors 6502a

    paleck

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    with the Tequila!
    #8

    So far, on on both cars that I have owned, I have always had a stick shift. I think it is a mistake to not have people learn how. For me the best part about it, is even though I don't have four wheel drive, I have a lot more control than I would with an automatic. This becomes especially important the day that it dumps a foot of snow. It took me 2 hours(normally 30-45 min) to make it to work that day, but I made it and in one piece! :)
     
  9. 21stcenturykid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    Newcastle UK
    #9
    Without any doubt learn manual you will understand how to drivea car much better as a result! The responsiveness of your gas pedal (or throttle/accelerator here in the UK) is based mainly on the power the car has in its engine. A small engined car will not respond to quick movements as quickly as a say 3.0 V6 has..though for a example a 1.0 litre car would still be quite sensitive in lower gears but once you get to 4th or 5th you wont feel such a quick response as in 1st or 2nd. A 3.0litre V6 would still force you into the boot if you put your foot too the floor in 5th!

    I've been driving over a year now and don't know how i ever managed without it! I feel lost when i have to get the bus at uni seeing as the car i drive is my mum VW and it lives at home. A car gave me a new found freedom!
     
  10. phillipjfry macrumors 6502a

    phillipjfry

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Location:
    Peace in Plainfield
    #10
    Be very careful of left turns. On coming traffic will not get out of your way :)
    I got into two accidents as a result of oncoming traffic (if only they would watch where I'm going!)

    edit: or right hand turns if you live outside the states :)
     
  11. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #11
    The general rule is don't turn into oncoming traffic.;)
     
  12. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #12
    What kind of car are you learning in? And what kind of transmission?

    When I first got behind the wheel, I had the same problem. It was hard for me to control acceleration (from a full stop). It was also harder for me to feel the petals than I was expecting. That was on a Civic (1.7-liter four-cylinder) — when I got into my parents V6 it was even more evident. :eek: Ultimately I ended up with a car that has very soft petals, which are much more comfortable for me. I don't have to put in 300% concentration when the stoplight turns green in order to control my acceleration, it just comes naturally.

    Of course, you'll get used to any car if you drive it enough.

    It depends on where you live/drive where or not a stick is worth it. For the driving I do, so much hectic city traffic, a stick would be troublesome. I learned on an automatic and me, plus most of my friends, don't really have experience with sticks... might bite one of us someday, but automatics are where things are heading.
     
  13. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    #13
    I'm looking forward to saving a TON of money NOT spent on driving mostly. Not to mention other benefits like better health and less pollution.

    Don't get me wrong, I love driving and the freedom of the open road, but suburban America is driving me nuts. I'm tired of driving through crap all day long.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #14
    hmmm...the best advice I can give you is to pay attention not just to the other cars but the other drivers as well. Where they're looking is where they're going, so if a guy looks like he wants to turn left in front of you, he probably does; make sure he sees you and be ready to act if he doesn't.

    as for car control, that just comes with experience. Just be courteous and careful. When in doubt, give the other car or cars the right of way.

    and don't speed. The time you might shave off your trip isn't worth the risk.
     
  15. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #15
    apfhex - I was wondering if there was actually anybody that liked really soft pedals. I can't stand them, I drove a Ford Ka once and it felt like there was nothing under my feet, it was quite difficult to maintain a steady pace.
     
  16. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #16
    Practice, practice, practice and beware of other drivers. Oh yeah, and practice.
     
  17. schock macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    #17
    Experience is all you need. Oh yea don't follow to close. On my first day (a few years back) I almost ran into the back of someone. Have fun and be safe.
     
  18. amd4me macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    #18
    I am on the same page as you.
    Thankfully my mom has always been an avid Jeep owner so she aways drives a stickshift.
     
  19. furcalchick macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #19
    i agree. i'm in south flordia and live at the edge of nowhere. it is impossible to go anywhere without resorting to driving (no public transportation where i live). it's just annoying that we have decided to resort to driving all the time. it's annoying. i would rather have a community where biking is used for short distances and for long distances, quick trips and mass cargo, cars.

    i hate suburban america for that reason mostly, for our dependence on cars will soon be our downfall, it's unhealthy for so many reasons. i would personally like to live in san francisco or another city where dependence on driving is minimal unless you want to go outside of the area for a road trip, which is when i like car rides.

    i don't have a driver's license btw, i was pretty much forced to learn to drive due to my situation and the sad state of american driving. at this rate, i'll have a license by 2010 (i'm 21 now btw). i still feel like a kid without one, because i can't go anywhere without someone else taking me, while in a city, i could pretty much decide what i want to do. in fact, that lack of license is hurting me in job hunting. there are so few jobs i could take outside of retail that are less than an hour's drive from my house....it's so depressing thinking about the wasted time in a car.
     
  20. 21stcenturykid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    Newcastle UK
    #20
    And common sense! ie dont drive into oncoming traffic, if your not sure something is clear make sure you look as well as you can and at worst get out of the car and check!

    Automatics are much less fun, for example... your driving down a country road which is national speed limit and the driver in front is doing nowhere near a decent speed for the road. In an automatic unless you had paddle shift or a pretty powerfull enginge it would be difficult to get past the car infront in a suitable gap. But in a manual you could whack it in 3rd and burn past them(providing you had a suitable gap and engine in the car)....gives so much satisfaction :p
    In my opinion anyway.

    Also people say you have to get used to different cars....thats a loads of balls to be honest! If you can drive....you can drive simple as that!!
     
  21. phungy macrumors 68020

    phungy

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    FL/NY/TX
    #21
    The best advice I'd recommend also. Practice in low traffic roads with speed limits no more than 40.
     
  22. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #22
    people freak out about learning manual on the fly ... its not really that hard.

    I decided to take a trip across italy and we rented a car. I had never, and I repeat never driven a manual. I didn't want to pay like double the rental price for an automatic so we took the manual and we were on our way. I won't say the first day or two wasn't rocky (ok real rocky, we stalled several times, once in the middle of the street) ... but you get used to it real quick if you need to. By the end of the trip I won't say I was driving like a pro, but I would never shy away from it. I should mention we were in rome, there was plenty of traffic ... The next day we took on hills, and then it started raining. It kind of felt like a video game, just kept getting tests, but overall if you're patient and you have a decent idea of what to do (I read online), then you will be fine adapting.

    In someways it is more fun, but at the same time, it doesn't feel like something I need to do.
     
  23. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #23
    It just takes practices. Also you need to remember not to get cocky and think you are a good drive. Simple fact is that you are a crappy drive and will be a crappy drive for quite some time. It takes over a year to get to about the point where the average person is in awareness. Your eyes do not move around as quickly as some one who been driving for a while since you just have not built that habit yet to do it automatically and with out thinking. Also always be aware of what is going on around you. There are a lot of crappy drivers out there and people do make mistakes. Do not forget to keep checking your mirrors. If a car ever passes you and you did not know that was was behind you before hand that means you are not checking you mirrors enough. That one took me a while to get down. You still have to actively think a lot more than some one like me since you just not built up the training yet so you have not built up the ability to know what to filter out and what to watch out for so you are dealing with infomation overload.

    The turn thing just takes time and a long time to get down. Hell it was not until I started drive a stick that i ended up completely understanding it. The gas pedal thing is different in every car and the biggest effect on that is the engine power. Other think you will noticed are that the brakes are very different in each car you drive.

    Over all just take it easy and stay relaxed and you will do fine. Most of the stuff just comes with time and it will take a few years for you to get to good driver and you need to remember it will take you years.

    Also I would recommend staying away from a manual until you have gotten the basic parts of driving down because it is one less thing for you to have to be taking in at one time. Now I do recommend you learn how to drive one. My first car and my current car where both manuals and yes I do believe they make you a better driver but learning to drive is already very stressful. Adding the high stress of learning to drive a manual is not something you should do. Now after you do learn to drive a manual it become 2nd nature and you do not even think about shifting any more. You just do it.


    There are quite a few other factors that also push Americas driving every where and the weak public transportation system compared other parts of the world. One of the biggest reason is in America we are a lot more spread and have longer drives everyone. Back when the city where building up build up of the suburbs did a lot of damage. But one of the biggest reason that the public transportation is weak is there is just a ton more area that has to be covered for the smaller population. Reason that American do use more land for there houses is for the simple fact that we have a lot of land and its comparatively cheap. So we can get larger houses for a much cheaper price than they can over sees. But that is a side note.
     
  24. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #24
    Here, if you get your license in an automatic then you're not allowed to drive a manual for a number of years.

    So learn in a manual, it's the best way to understand what your car is doing and gives you a good respect for how it all works.

    The best places to practice are new housing estates that aren't quite finished yet. Not only are the roads around them generally new and smooth but there's no traffic and the visibility is good because the trees are still small.

    And the residents aren't there to call the cops on you as you lay down umpteen little burnout marks all over the place as you bunny-hop the car a thousand times trying to start the damn thing. I tell you, once you figure out the smooth timing of the "off clutch, on accelerator" motion it's like the sun has come out and you wonder how you ever made so many, many mistakes before.

    And you will screech the tyres a thousand times trying to get moving and then when you've got it down pat you'll do it a thousand more times on hill starts. It's normal and everyone does it so don't feel bad if you think you're going to wear the tyres down to the canvas on your first outing.
     
  25. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #25

    Teaching yourself stick in the middle of rome ought to earn you a purple heart in my book.
     

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