Learning to drive was tricky. I’ve always been into cars but never been very coordinated. I’ve always had trouble with my left and rights forever getting them mixed up – that was the first hurdle I had to overcome.
After having a not very understanding instructor for a number months, and having failed my practical test twice, I sought out a better more understanding instructor. I wanted to find someone that could understand my anxiety, sensory problems and my lack of coordination. I found a brilliant instructor who used stickers and hand signals in order to prompt me where my left and rights were, he was quiet and didn’t shout and spoke calmly and he gave me more confidence out on the road.
My top tips for learning to drive (in the UK) with sensory problems,etc:
- Highway Code and Practice: there are loads of online practice tests you can do before your driving theory test which definitely helped me understand the wording of the questions and what to expect. Also there are a ton of books which involve multiple choice questions just like in the test which are useful
- State your difficulties – I stated that I was dyslexic on my form before my theory test and I was given extra time which was super helpful. I always use all my extra time even if I’m finished just to check over my answers.
- Practice makes perfect – boring I know but I used to go out driving with my dad on the weekends or evenings in empty car parks and practice my skills.
- You can ask for your examiner in your practical driving test to give you hand signals (useful for left and rights) and to repeat the instructions as much as you like so don’t be afraid to ask.
- Draw diagrams – I used to draw diagrams of all the manuveures you can be asked to do in your test such as left reverse, bay parking, parallel parking, etc and then write down each stage of the manuveure next to the diagrams – it broke down the long thought process for me and helped me remember what I needed to do!
- Keep calm – I did so many things wrong when driving and I still make the odd mistake today. Try not to panic if you make a mistake – you didn’t mean to and you learn from every one of them.
I used to find I had to think about everything I needed to do in the car like changing gear, steering, checking my mirrors, indicating, clutch, brake and accelarator….the list goes on! But now I can get in the car and I don’ t have to think about what I need to do I just do it! Driving becomes more natural the more you do it – if I can drive anyone can! 🚙🚕🚗🚙🚕🚗🚙