I was recently invited to go back to driving school for a day with CAA. I was nervous but excited to participate. On one hand I am confident that I am a good driver and I am always careful to follow the rules of the road and practice the different types of parking when I can. I was nervous though because I dislike driving anything but my own Mustang, and when you throw in people scrutinizing your every move.. just no!
It is important though to constantly practice your driving skills and to review the rules of the road. It’s really all part of road safety, and road safety can play a big part in not only the health and safety of you, your family and those you come in contact with, it can also have a huge impact on your financial well-being! Avoiding collisions and following the rules of the road will help you to minimize car repairs, keep your insurance rates low and to avoid traffic tickets.
- Be aware of U-turn restrictions
- Be 360ᴼ aware throughout the entire manoeuvre, check all mirrors and blind spot
- Avoid using a driveway or private property
The first station I attempted was the Three Point Turn. I was confident I knew what I was doing but as soon as I got behind the wheel with Boris the coach for the station sitting beside me it might as well have been my first time behind the wheel. Boris was great though and talked me through everything which I really appreciated. Oh my were the brakes and gas ever touchy! I’m so used to my Mustang that new cars take me awhile to get used to. Sorry for the jerky driving Boris!
It was good to go over three point turns though. I rarely do a 42 point turn, and do feel comfortable doing a 3 point turn in general but it was great to get a refresher. It’s kind of crazy the amount of bad habits you form without even realising it so this session was a good way to have them pointed out. Like I always forget to come to a full stop prior to the first turn, I usually just done of those rolling stops.
The Benefits to Reverse Lot Parking:
- Visibility around your vehicle is better while backing in
- Easier for drivers to see if the way is clear when exiting the parking spot
- Mechanical problems are easier to diagnose, and vehicle is easier to tow or boost
When I was in drivers education classes back in the day, one of the lessons that really stuck with me was the one about parking in a parking lot. We were told that the best, easiest and safest ways to park was to find a drive-through spot but not at the end of an aisle. Of course this isn’t always possible and that is where reverse parking comes into play. Admittedly I hate reversing and I avoid it as much as possible. It’s not that I can’t do it, I just dislike the thought of potentially making other people wait while I back in. That excuse is gone now that I’ve heard the benefits of reverse parking and got to practice this skill hands on.
Turns out I am pretty good at it too!
- Ensure the space is large enough to accommodate 1 ½ times the length of your vehicle
- Signal early to help the driver behind understand your intention
- Do not start reversing until the way is clear or traffic has stopped to let you begin parking
Prior to having my children I lived in a house in the downtown area on a one-way street with no driveway. It’s safe to say that if there was ever a point I avoided or disliked parallel parking that I got over it pretty quickly. Like most things, parallel parking is easy with practice and by using the right steps.
Ta da! How perfect is that, and on my first go too… in not only a strange vehicle… but a minivan at that! Definitely not even close to my Mustang.
I had a lot of fun with the road test, and it was a great reminder that I should have confidence in my driving skills, no matter what vehicle I am driving, because I do actually know what I am doing despite my nerves!
CAA Driver Education
- CAA has over 50 years of experience in driver education, and currently operates its flagship driving school in North York (Toronto). This school offers beginner driver education, senior driving seminars, corporate driving seminars
- The CAA How to Drive Beginner Driver Education Course is MTO-approved, and is only taught at CAA Approved Driving School Network (ADSN) locations across Ontario. Currently, there are 38 ADSN locations teaching the CAA How to Drive Course, all locations can be found at caasco.com/drivertraining
- All graduates of the CAA How to Drive Course are eligible to redeem a free 1-year Basic CAA Membership
- In 2014, over 5,000 students graduated from the CAA How to Drive Course from CAA Approve Driving School Network locations
Benefits of the CAA How to Drive Beginner Driver Education Course
- 40 hour, expert-led course (includes classroom and in-car training)
- Graduates can take their G2 road test 4 months earlier than G1 licence holders who do not take an MTO-approved course (this group must wait a full 12 months)
- Graduates may be eligible for an reduced auto insurance premium
- Graduates can redeem a free 1-year CAA Basic Membership
Students registered for the CAA How to Drive Course at any ADSN location can enter the Tear-up-the-Tuition Contest by visiting caasco.com/learndrivewin until November 30, 2014 for the chance to win great prizes! You could win the Grand Prize of CAA How to Drive Course tuition reimbursement, $200 Apple Store® gift cards, $75 CAA Rewards Partner gift card or a Cineplex Great Escape Package!