So, I’ve just had my first 2 hour driving lesson, what an experience..!
Of course I was quite nervous when I started because I knew it was going to be hard and I worried that I wasn’t going to hear what the instructor was saying.
The first part was just going through simple instructions about the car, mirrors, seat, controls. Also, preferred methods of communication! My instructor has a hearing loss himself so he understood how I needed to lip-read, so it’s great having a deaf aware instructor.
The most difficult part of the lesson was getting used to the clutch control because it was all about finding the ‘bite point’… it was weird at first because he asked if I could hear or feel it- I couldn’t do either. He then explained how the car moves when you release the clutch slowly or stalls if you release the clutch too quickly- everything was fine! It’s a lot harder than you think!
During the lesson he used different hand signals and because I don’t do sign language, it took a bit of getting used to. The signs would be for example, direction, speed, gear, clutch and so on! Sometimes I forgot what a sign meant so I ended up quickly reading his lips!
There were times where I was concentrating too much on the clutch, that I forgot to look where I was going, or to hold the steering wheel! Oh, well- it’s all a learning curve!
I managed to drive around the block almost twice at a speed of max 12mph (stopping quite frequently) which I’m proud of! – I know 12mph isn’t much but it was scary!
The next lesson is booked so I am looking forward to it, I’ll probably forget everything by then!
For those who say deaf people can’t drive- well if I’m learning and others have passed their test… then I’m pretty sure they can!
Now… I need to relax! It’s worn me out!
Love E x