Practical lessons notes - stage 2

In this ‘Practical lessons notes’ series, I will be sharing my overview and notes for each lesson. Do be warned that the writing might not be cohesive as they were adapted from notes for myself. I won’t be mentioning the car number or instructor’s name, but I am sure you can figure them out if you are a BBDC student too.

For consolidated notes, see the tips post.

Here’s my training history.

Stage 2

Lesson 6 – 2.01, 2.02, 2.03

Not from fixed group. Instructor was friendly towards the end of the lesson.

I had issues pressing the brake in this lesson as he mentioned that I pressed a bit and then suddenly pressed a lot more. Thus, he suggested wearing shoes with thinner soles. From that lesson onwards, I stopped wearing sport shoes and went for sneakers with soles that weren’t too thick.

He also told me to look further ahead and slow down prior to turning, but not too slow, holding a bit of acceleration when turning already. Noted to also slow down prior to humps.

Lesson 7 – 2.04, 2.05

From fixed group. Instructor was more theory based and I noted harder to understand, though I will say that these topics were not easy to master.

Learnt about lane change, to check mirrors and see that cars are small enough, then to check blindspots and side mirror again then change into the next lane. As long as 1/3 of the vehicle is in the lane, it means that I have gotten myself the space already.

I also learnt about right turns and to head out into the dotted line pockets when available. Also, to turn right when I am one lane (or in the middle) into the perpendicular direction.

Encountered stopping on the slope entering BBDC too, in which I had to apply handbrake and then to move off, press the accelerator slightly while releasing the handbrake.

Lesson 8 – 2.06, 2.07

From fixed group. Very friendly instructor, same as from lesson 4.

Learnt about U-turns, with wide turns using somewhat of a 3/4 turn when shoulder passes curb, while narrow turns using a quick almost or full lock when shoulder passes curb. Noted that I was aware of the right kerb and should keep myself in the centre still. I also kept forgetting to turn off the signal after lane changing back to the left lane and was given much reminder on it. Also, some drivers might not notice U-turning vehicles when filtering in and he noted that could happen to me too.

We then drove around to many other locations like the Teck Whye silver zone area and even to Hillview which was the furthest I ventured out to in all my lessons. Learnt things like yellow dotted line is for bus lane and that silver and school zones are all below 40kmh. There were also many yellow boxes that I must be aware to stop outside of. He also gave a tip for right turning at junctions, if there are no cars, most likely the amber light time is longer and the right turn light will blink sooner, which is something that I can take note of.

Lesson 9 – 2.08, 2.09

Not from fixed group. Nice instructor. First lesson out of 2 in a day.

Noted that my car was positioned too to the left. Learnt to visualise having the double yellow line at the center of the windscreen to stop near the road, and to overtake bicycles will mean to see them at the bottom left of the windscreen for a 1.5m clearance. I should also signal, slow down and check blind spot prior to moving right. Practiced doing right turns with blind spot checks and was told to use rear mirror more to do lane changes.

Also did Test route 9, which is the one that goes towards Bukit Gombak MRT station and to go straight I had to lane change back to the right lane, as the left lane only turns left. Noted that there is a yellow box and bus stop near the MRT so preferably if I can complete the lane change prior to that stage. I should also go super slow at the zebra crossings with tons of bumps near Hometeam NS.

A few more pointers noted include requiring two lane clearance for getting out of a u-turn and if amber light turns on at the junction, a quick decision has to be made if I can stop in time. Might consider going faster for 10 demerit points instead of having immediate failure for stopping beyond the stop line. However, best if I can slow down before the traffic junctions and anticipate the changing traffic lights.

Lesson 10 – 2.10, 2.11

From fixed group. No nonsense and strict instructor. Second lesson out of 2 in a day.

He knew about the other instructor’s comment that I was driving too towards the left and spent much of the lesson teaching me how to align my car and to do lane changes too. He said that if I drove close to the left, I will risk mounting the kerb when turning left. Hence, to keep my car in the center, he gave me line alignment tips like the left line cannot cross the middle of the windscreen and that the semi-circle bump in the rear should be near the center of the lane when you see through the rear mirror.

I also learnt to use the beams in this night lesson. Very basic stuff but I had some trouble as they were on the same switch for signalling too. Noted to turn to light and then push inwards for low beam or push outwards for high beam. If I accidentally turn on high beam, I should pay attention and see the high beam symbol light up next to the signalling arrows. Also, do not push inwards too much for a flash of the high beam.

Finally, I committed a mistake when turning right and ended up in the left lane… in which he told me that I will be scolded by other road users if I do so. Right turn right lane!

Some thoughts

So… I learnt to position myself in the center but still somewhat ended up too towards the left for the double lessons in a day. However, you will soon see in the next lesson I tried to counter that and ended up too towards the right or swerving in attempt to keep myself in the center… Hence, I think I finally decided to just drive naturally placing myself in the middle and only occasionally taking quick glances at the road lines to ensure that I am not too far left/right. I feel like ultimately, with more practice, such alignment issues will be greatly reduced.

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