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"You're Going To F***ing Crash!" The Trauma Of Learning To Drive With Parents

"You're Going To F***ing Crash!" The Trauma Of Learning To Drive With Parents

Nothing will test your parents’ patience like supervising your driving. For example, despite having completed three lessons with my official instructor at the time, and having gone into third gear on several occasions, my dad wouldn’t even let me go into second gear in an empty car park!

Whatever rules your parents may have about swearing in the house, they tend to be suspended in the car. You can be quite free with your language and not be called out for it because realistically, you’re merely vocalising what they’re thinking. You can let out your most childish groan when you cut out, without caring about their judgement as you would if your instructor were there. However, despite this freedom, its best to remain as calm as possible and try to keep this to a minimum, because from personal experience, the more riled up you get, the more riled up they get, which always leads to a screaming match.

Regardless of how much they’re annoying you try not to call them out on telling you to practice the bad habits your instructor specifically told you not to. This will get you a one way ticket to the lecture on how “excellent” a driver they are, and they’ll constantly remind you that they passed their test first time. It doesn’t matter how qualified your instructor is because they’ll always insist they’re right and will continue to ‘correct’ your technique. My advice - keep quiet about their habits, and if a comment happens to slip out, let them brag and then apologise as if you mean it, it’s better than the argument that will ensue if you tell them they’d probably fail their test if they were to retake it…

As part of the deal with your parent taking you out for a practice spin in the car, you have to work with their schedule. This is a completely reasonable rule, but a good time for them is almost never a good time for you. Nothing is worse than being told “if you want some practice time, you have to come now”, when its 8:45 and Love Island is starting at 9.

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While some of the most intense fights I’ve ever had with my parents have taken place behind the wheel of the car, I can admit that we frequently laugh about the arguments, and the time I pressed on the accelerator instead of the brake and almost crashed the car. And while it may have put our relationship through the mill, it’s all worth it to gain confidence behind the wheel and make the 30 euro you paid for each official lesson worth it.

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Sarah McGee

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