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Old 30th March 2008, 19:29   #46
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Just like in life you never stop learning. Nobody is perfect, and if they say they are, it proves that they have already faulted. You learn with experience and experiences never stop.
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Old 31st March 2008, 10:11   #47
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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Vasudeva, that is interesting and useful. What is the source?
The source is IIHS. There would also be other sites. This data cannot be dismissed by saying that it is not relevant. Humans are the same everywhere, and as we all know, teenagers and youth (I have passed through that stage) have raging hormones and a belief in immortability (of the body that is).
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Old 31st March 2008, 11:11   #48
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Originally Posted by Keralite View Post
Dear Friends,

This is a thread to discuss about your experiances as to 'how fast each one of you learned driving?'

Here, in TBHP, we have friends who neither own a car nor know how to drive and surfing here with utmost curiosity and excitement.

Our experiances will given them encouragement and inspirition to learn the art with full confidence and at the same time fastly.
  • Actually, how much time it takes to know all the essentional nitty-gritties of driving?
  • After getting the licence and owning a car, what's the proper way to practise it and we earn the real confidence in how much time?
  • Even after learning, how fast we can start driving in the city traffic and how safe it is?
  • What are the tips for driving in the cities as well as highways?
  • We are seeing vehicles which receives dents, most of the times, on the back and what is the factor which contributes to this danger sitution, is it the inexperiance driving or the rash driving of the fellows who dash on our vehicles' back?
Hope this will help many who are beginners here!
Driving a 4 wheeler in Bangalore traffic is a mind bending experience.

1. Always try to minimise lane changing
2. Always use ur mirrors as much as possible.
Depending on your vehicle blindspots, turn ur head if reqd. U dont want to squeeze a 2 wheeler in ur blind spot. Its hard to see them when they are near ur car, mirror doesnt cover them sometimes.
3. Maintain min 5 to 10 feet to the vehile in front, depending on the speed.
4. Always use ur indicators well in advance, not f1 style in the last few micro seconds before u turn.
5. Maintain speed with the traffic, dont be a turtle. And dont zip. Avoid sudden braking, hence ur dents.
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Old 31st March 2008, 11:47   #49
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Default Good driving school

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Good driving schools are not that rare a breed, you only have to look for them.
You could check out if you have a Maruti Driving shcool in your city. They have theory classes, advanced simulator training and then on the road training. I am sure they will be better than the regular run of the mill driving schools. You may find some reviews on Team-BHP about them as well.

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
And don't even get me started on the number of Skoda's, Honda's, Toyota's etc. that have been crashed by teens.
Very true. Just last week a 16 year old crashed his dad's Honda Accord near Sadanand hotel on the Mumbai - Bangalore highway and died. Two of his friends were seriously injured.

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
But then, not everyone is a car enthusiast or a quick learner.
Quite true. I learned to drive without going to any driving school or without anyone teaching me how to drive. And the first vehicle I drove was a Tata 407 - that's for another story. But I have seen people break into sweat trying to master 4-wheeler driving. And some of these people were extremely good 2-wheeler drivers. I also know people who could not drive a vehicle in reverse even though they were O.K. while driving forward.

Take your time and keep a few simple things in mind.
  • Different driving conditions demand different driving skills (highway, normal city driving, driving in city traffic jams, driving uphill, driving downhill, stopping and starting on an uphill road, night driving etc.) You generally acquire them over time.
  • You need to develop a skill to anticipate other drivers depending on the kind of vehicle they drive (auto drivers, 2-wheeler drivers, lady drivers, old drivers, taxi guys, buses. Too many categories here)
  • The driving habits of drivers in different cities also differ quite a bit.
After having mastered the basic skills, the safest method is to drive at a speed at which you are comfortable and in keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Cutting the invisible lane boundaries in our roads can lead to problems. Follow the vehicle in front at a safe distance.
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Old 31st March 2008, 15:22   #50
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Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
Good points GTO though I kinda disagree with points 1,2 and 7.

Most driving schools and instructors in them are absolutely terrible, even the reputed ones. All they care for is money and little do they care whether a person learns or not. I'd go on to say that barring a few, most of these so called instructors don't know how to drive themselves. Also if an instructor baby feeds the learner all the time by using the clutch and brakes, he/she will get a false confidence level. When alone, the learner will find it to be a whole new ball game. Learning from someone you know in a normal car without assist controls is probably the best way to learn.

I learnt driving in a brand new opel corsa 1.6 with 100bhp on tap. Never ever did I even touch it anywhere, nor did I screw up the drivetrain.

I hit the highway within 15 days of picking up driving and I don't regret it one bit. The highway is the best teacher imho as long as you know how to control a car. I was immensely more confident after my first highway trip.
Totally agree reign - I think we should - after the basics are covered in a field or a parking lot - like clutch , brakes steering - start learning on the highways - since it would teach you -
an ability to drive at speed with the right control - the rule of thumb being - if you cant keep your car in the center of your lane - then you need to slow your speed till you can,
learn to assess overtaking -
not to tailgate
using your rearview mirrors in changing lanes
anticipating and using your accelerator less rather than your brake more in slowing down and so forth
It might seem paradoxical but driving in the city - you can get away with doing all of these poorly - because of the low speeds - but on the highway these would be fatal - so these habits should be best inculcated early on highways in novice drivers
Also the initial drive on the highway would make you realise how much fun driving can be - rather than putting you into a mode of "I hate this s!@#" by putting a new driver into a hooting, honking parping melee of sounds, smells and scowls.
The city drive is usually more harrowing - I would come to it after the stints on highways - city driving is essential - since you come across more traffic rules - you need to do some manouvers such as parking, u - turns etc.

In terms of perfect driving - I think there is nothing like that - the criteria I would have is that - I would do my damndest to make sure I keep those in my car and those outside safe from harm.
The best way is to ask people who are driving with you and see if they are feeling safe and relaxed
If you ask a 100 times and the answer 95 times out of 100 is yes ( the other 5 is to take care of the fact that sometimes people will be stressed - independent of your driving - due to their nature, mood etc) then you are pretty much there
And also when you are driving ask yourself - am I enjoying it - despite the traffic, the pot holes, the sheer drop that awaits me if I make a mistake etc - and the answer is Yes then you are doing fine
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Old 31st March 2008, 15:27   #51
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Another point I would like to make - learning to drive is a lot like muscle training - it takes a while to do good weight training - your neural connections are important to it - even more than muscle strength - and so you should give yourself time- as your brain adapts to different situations and creates the muscle memory - for a wide variety of situations.
Even then there are some things that need to be anticipated rather than experienced - such as going into a skid and how to avoid it - driving when you hit ice suddenly- what happens when a truck starts fishtailing in front of you ( not so much applicable in India) - and those mental exercises can help you when that once in a lifetime possibility occurs
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Old 1st April 2008, 01:37   #52
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Default Anticipation is the key...

Good Driving is a matter of Practice and aptitude as well.
Some people can drive (In the sense just operate a machine) for years but yet they are not aware of ordinary driving rules, I get fed up with the amount of people driving with upper beams in city lanes (Bikers especially)

While some are born with the aptitude and attitude, for these people driving comes naturally.

Others are ordinary (like me) who'll learn with time and experience.

The one ingredient which a driver learns with experience is anticipation,
Thers no substitute to it. It gives you more time to react in tight situations....
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Old 10th November 2014, 23:02   #53
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Default Re: How much time it takes to learn perfect driving?

I can share my experience:
I learned driving at the age of 14-15 when my father taught me on our Premier Padmini. Then it was just reversing, parking, small rounds, etc.
Then not until I was 18, I got the confidence to drive alone on city roads and was trained by one of the company's driver for 4-5 days on Omni. In the meantime drove perfectly on roads and sometimes on highways under some supervision but never felt confident or was enjoying driving though I was driving good.
When my father bought Esteem, while in Bangalore, I was 21-22 then, I drove it many times but still that 100% confidence and enjoyment was not there. Though I was as good a driver as I am today but still was not enjoying driving.
Then something happened that changed my world. I bought a used M800 (my first own car) in 2003, I was 26 then, and believe it or not my confidence shot up 1000000 times and for the first time in my life I realised that what is meant by 'Enjoying the Driving'. It was the first time I had driven a 800 and to this day, I strongly believe that had I not bought the 800, I would've been driving just for the sake of driving. That small car really is easy to park, good pick-up, small size, all this resulted in improvement in my 'driving-confidence' and from then onwards, I really started to enjoy driving.
Then when I bought Ford Fusion I realised the feel of power for the first time. With my Linea T-Jet, I realised the meaning of Handling, Power, Total-Control and most importantly Braking.
But still, had it not been the 800, I would have been still searching for meaning of Driving Pleasure.
So in my case, it was long 8 years since I started driving on my own and some 10-15,000 kms before I could call myself perfect from inside. For others I was perfect when I was of 15-16 itself.
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Old 10th November 2014, 23:23   #54
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Default Re: How much time it takes to learn perfect driving?

Bumping an old thread. A thread that I wanted to start myself.

We have a Honda Jazz at home. I learnt driving sometime ago, but I am not confident as such.

I have problems with gauging distances and the dimensions of the car. I also struggle with parking and choosing the appropriate gear. I ride a geared bike, which I ride quite well. As a person who likes automobiles, I look down on myself when I can't do things that my friend who isn't into cars as much, can do immaculately well. I am fairly proficient with the bike. But I cannot seem to get the hang of the car as quickly.

Can anyone give me any tips on how to improve? :(

I really, really want to become a better driver and want to prove to myself that I can drive and park well as well.

Any tips will be appreciated. Moreso specific tips.
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Old 11th November 2014, 00:14   #55
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Default Re: How much time it takes to learn perfect driving?

Is this question based on skills or both skills and etiquette?
In terms of skill, I don't have an answer but this is my experience.

Got the license but didn't own a car. I had never driven a car prior to the learning experience in the driving school = terrible driver.
Bought my car in Bangalore and drove it alone to Pune - my first drive in my car was a 900km continuous trip alone within a day.
Learnt a lot (like flashing in the night does not mean turning the headlights on and off, but switching b/w highbeam and lowbeam). I learnt this after the journey sadly.
Drove around in Pune for work and the occasional long trips to Mumbai, Lonavla, Ajanta/Ellora, hilly areas etc, 4 times to and fro to Bangalore within 1.5 years = more learning.
Back to Bangalore, traffic is mental when compared to Pune = learnt more.
Can't drive head first into my home due to space restrictions on the road to reverse it inside. I just drive in reverse to my home from the beginning of the street = learnt reverse driving.

I'd say I'm quite good at the above modes of driving since I've driven quite a lot in peak conditions.
I can also feel my knowledge levels stagnating over the past few months. So I've probably peaked under the conditions.
This is my experience in about 2 years almost and 25000 kms.

Is there anything else? I haven't done off-roading because I own a sedan, not an SUV.
I guess that's the only thing left.

Edit: I haven't done long distance highway driving throughout the night as in driving from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m etc. My Bangalore-Pune 12 - 15 hour drives were all during the day and a few hours into the night. Nothing major.
So that's an other aspect I need to pick up.
Is there anything else? Can't think of other scenarios.

Last edited by dozer : 11th November 2014 at 00:21.
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Old 11th November 2014, 07:42   #56
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Default Re: How much time it takes to learn perfect driving?

Perfect driving? I am still learning after 15 years.

Good driving, as in be able to survive without scratches and losing wing mirrors? A few years of daily driving.
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Old 11th November 2014, 12:19   #57
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Default Re: How much time it takes to learn perfect driving?

Here is a rather 'strange' but effective way of learning to drive.
1. Start with an automatic. Drive on a level ground with lots of space (preferably an empty playground). Do not use the accelerator. Just put the car in 'Drive' and let the car move at around 5 km/hr. Use only one hand for the steering wheel, and drive in a zig zag manner (Use only one hand and turn the steering clockwise to full lock, and then anti clockwise to full lock. Repeat this.) You would have good steering control within one or two days.
2. With an automatic car on a level ground, practice switching your right foot between the brake and the accelerator when the car is standing still. Then practice using the brake and accelerator when the car is moving on a straight line. Once you are comfortable in this, practice using the brake and accelerator when going zig zag.
3. Practice the changing of gear in a manual geared car that is safely stopped and switched off. Change gears using the clutch. Practice till you can change from any gear to any gear without looking at the gear lever.
4. Use a manual geared car. Increase the 'slow speed' of the car (change the adjustments so that the car moves in first gear without pressing the accelerator). Practice releasing the clutch without pressing the accelerator.
Once you are comfortable doing this in a straight line, practice a zig zag.
5. Once you are comfortable with all the above steps, drive the manual car on the play ground for 3 days. No need to put above 3rd gear as you are practicing on the play ground with limited space.
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Old 11th November 2014, 12:33   #58
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Default Re: How much time it takes to learn perfect driving?

Confidence plays an important role in learning, I reversed, took a U turn and all other stuff in few mins of taking the wheel for the first time! In my first ever road trip I covered ~550Km on the first day, being nervous make things only worst for the driver and others too. One needs not more than 6 months/5,000km of driving if their confidence is high.

Edit: even after 3 years of continuous driving I am still learning everyday, so apart from confidence, patience too helps me a bit.

Last edited by giri1.8 : 11th November 2014 at 12:36.
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Old 11th November 2014, 13:26   #59
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Default Re: How much time it takes to learn perfect driving?

Around 10 years of continuous driving would make a person more or less "the best" he or she could ever be. After that, there would be incremental changes to his or her driving style but the overall paradigm - in my opinion - forms completely in 10 years.

I have learnt four wheeler driving in the US and got my license there. Then I moved back to India and had to unlearn a lot of those stuff to survive in our road conditions.

There is no such thing as perfect driving. Even in the US, all you need to do is to pay a visit to Big Apple and you will realize idiots are everywhere - not just on Indian roads.
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Old 11th November 2014, 14:11   #60
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Default Re: How much time it takes to learn perfect driving?

Originally Posted by ashwin.terminat View Post

I have problems with gauging distances and the dimensions of the car. I also struggle with parking and choosing the appropriate gear. I ride a geared bike, which I ride quite well. As a person who likes automobiles, I look down on myself when I can't do things that my friend who isn't into cars as much, can do immaculately well. I am fairly proficient with the bike. But I cannot seem to get the hang of the car as quickly.

Can anyone give me any tips on how to improve? :(

I really, really want to become a better driver and want to prove to myself that I can drive and park well as well.

Any tips will be appreciated. Moreso specific tips.
Keep practising to improve your confidence. There is no substitute for it. The way I did it was to play it safe when in doubt either with distances or the speed. Try driving in less traffic, and slowly you could take on the mainroads and other more congested roads. While building confidence takes some time, it might be a good idea to ignore the honking around while we try to move a stalled vehicle (with due respect to not causing undue hardships for people around). Also there are a few videos on parking, which can be tried out carefully, and find which method is comfortable.

As for my case, started 2 wheelers while I was in my 12th. on a Lamby, which was good, since though powerful at its time, it was not that peppy as a bajaj. Also its tendency to skid was less compared to Bajaj. It did take a few falls, and a couple of broken parts before I got the hang of it. Once done, during the vacation, along with a couple of friends decided to have go at 4 wheeler as well, which wasnt that successful. The driving class started on an Amby which had the gears below the steering. The challenge was that the car would never go where I wanted or straight, and to try shifting gears was daunting enough, that I gaveup on it. I became quite confident on the 2 wheelers, that I trained a couple of guys on getting on to geared bikes. Then after a few years decided to try 4 wheeler again, and thankfully most driving schools had maruti 800 running on LPG which was 'controllable'. This helped in getting the 4 wheeler license (that is a different story by itself!!).

It took a few more year before I first attempted to drive a car. It was while planning a trip to Pondicherry Ashram that the most leisure way to start the trip was to drive, since we would not have to look at any public transport. The first trip was on my sister's car, driven by myself and brother in law. This was the 1st time for both of us, and decided to take it carefully, and with 1 minor mishap, we drove successfully and returned safely. From then on, ther was no looking back. Shortly after was deputed to Gurgaon, and the state of public transport (2006) and the office cabs (more on their timing and providing them directions) forced me to buy my 1st car. Roaming all around NCR and in and out of its malls gave me the confidence to drive down to Mathura with 3-4 month of purchase. By the time I left Gurgaon in less than a year I was confident enough to graduate to a sedan. Which is what I did coming back to Chennai, booked our SX4. Driving around Hyd for a couple of years helped in honing the skills. During this time, we also started to drive down from Chennai to Trichur, which helped in driving both in City conditions as well as highways.
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