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I jsut got my permit, and everytime I drive I feel like I'm going to kill someone. Do you have any tips for driving on the street?
 

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R6+ / Cr, Sheeps Maybe
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Take Drivers Ed. and if after awhile if you don't feel comfortable behind the wheel then maybe driving isn't your thing
 

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The best you can do is gain confidenace.

I would highly highly reccomend going to a few SCCA Auto crosses. go and tell people you are new (both to racing and to driving) and that you'd like an instructor.

After just 3-4 autocross "races" you will have a much better idea of what your car can, and can not do. which will make you feel a lot more confident when driving around the streets. you will improve your vehicle control abilities greately (again that will boost confidence)

oh and the SCCA has a "first gear" program where you get huge discounts on your membership, and in some regions your entry fees.

Also i would look for a rally cross (driving around cones, but in the dirt) those 2 put together will boost your confidence a lot.

also there's a great driving program for teens called the "teen street survival" http://streetsurvival.org/ I've instructed at the (reno) school a few years now and its great.

You should be able to talk your mom and dad into paying for the classes (think its around $80) you get to drive your actual every day driver around several different types of courses which will improve your familiarty of your car, and teaches you some basic car control skills. in the reno school we practice emergency lane change, emeregency braking (with or with out ABS) , and what your car will feel like just before a skid / spin (and how to prevent/ correct it)

...

Honestly the only cure for that is 'seat time' only the foolish feel fully confident before they have a few hundred hours under their belt. the autocrosses, or teen survival school is going to give you the equavalent of dozens of hours of driving, all crammed into 1 hour.
 

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400 flat to crest
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I jsut got my permit, and everytime I drive I feel like I'm going to kill someone. Do you have any tips for driving on the street?
Do EVERYTHING 1 to 1.5 seconds earlier
DO NOT FOLLOW TOO CLOSE...
DO NOT THINK YOU HAVE FAST REACTIONS and DO NOT THINK THAT WILL SAVE YOUR ASS. You want to play with reaction times go here http://www.humanbenchmark.com/tests/reactiontime/index.php

Go find soem dirt and gravel BIG PARKING LOT and go scoot around. Get comfy..

Like stage rallying you have to make the actual driving be muscle memory so most of your attention can be directed outwards toward all the threats and dangers.

Think like motorcycle riders on the streets and roads and think about all those other cars and trucks who are trying to kill you..
And take it personal that they're trying to kill you...

(and ignore those voices saying "You're taking it too personally. You can't look at it that way. They're not trying to kill YOU, they're trying to kill EVERYBODY" )*





*bonus points for anybody who can indentify the literary source of this pearl of wisdom
 

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200 R5/kick 70 Jmp into L3</Cr
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Starting small is always a plus. Go-karts, 4-wheelers, even lawn tractors. These things carry over.
 

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400 flat to crest
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Beginners boys usually don't need some superficial little courses to give them any more cockiness that usually comes along in a year or so...We don't dodge cones or zip around 1" off the ground in real world daily traffic.

And its not so much technique that causes people to smash into each other in traffic. Its decisions people make, specifically poor decisions regarding the other cars out there Beginners need reminding that the whole point of driving on the road is to arrive somewhere without hitting umpteen bicycles, cars, buses, trucks or trees, not to 'beat them" or impress the crowds with brilliantly executed threshold braking..

The guy all ready has the licence and in already in traffic...does he really need to go play conesquishie or learn to shave the last 1/10 of a second off his :lap times"?
 

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don't cut
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The advantage to learning car control by racing Solo or other means is that when you have to do so because of circumstances you can't control, you can do so without panic.

BUT, the advantage to leaving lots of space around you, like not following too close, is that you are much less likely to need to use madz car control skills.

Upteen million years ago when Corvairs with swing axles were new, my father taught me a lesson in car control. We were following one of said Corvairs around an off camber corner. Said Corvair almost lost it but was able to counter steer in a very narrow lane and recover. I asked my father if that was good driving. He said it was skillful driving but good driving would have been going into the corner slower.
 

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the poster said he's not comforable driving in traffic yet. that's because he's not familiar with driving in traffic, his own car, what a car is capble of, and most likely has no idea of what being "near the limits" feel like , and what to do when the car starts to lose control.

doing a few auto crosses, will teach him what a car is capable of, what his car is capable of, what it feels like to be near the limits, and what it feels like to lose control.

If he has all of that, he will feel more comfortable driving around. autcross isn't needed, but neither is feeling comfortable while driving around...

Yes there's an elevated chance that he will get over confident of his own abilities if he autocrosses for a while... but that goes into that judgement category ... if you can't make good decisions on public roads, you don't. I don't think Just adding in confidence to a young driver cuaes them to make bad decisions, all that ground work has allready been put in place by his parents .. probably most of it was what he was taught age 2-10. and then reinforced 11-16 ...
 

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the poster said he's not comforable driving in traffic yet. that's because he's not familiar with driving in traffic, his own car,
Yep, IN TRAFFIC.. I don't recall him saying he was uncomfortable twiling the wheel or easing the gas on. He mentioned worrying about killing other people---traffic.
It seems when i drive in traffic it's those other people i worry about also---they ARE trying to kill me.


what a car is capble of, and most likely has no idea of what being "near the limits" feel like
,

I wasn't aware that being comfortable driving in traffic required me to be "near the limits"...and I remember back when i started driving that thought never entered my head.

and what to do when the car starts to lose control.
That's why i said to find a big dirt of gravel parking lot---to hoon around enough he doesn't just smash the brakes on anytime the car does anything---which is what 95% do.

doing a few auto crosses, will teach him what a car is capable of, what his car is capable of, what it feels like to be near the limits, and what it feels like to lose control.

And that will help him become more comfie with other cars and trucks and pedestrians how?

If he has all of that, he will feel more comfortable driving around. autcross isn't needed, but neither is feeling comfortable while driving around...

Yes there's an elevated chance that he will get over confident of his own abilities if he autocrosses for a while... but that goes into that judgement category ... if you can't make good decisions on public roads, you don't. I don't think Just adding in confidence to a young driver cuaes them to make bad decisions,
No the normal teen testosterone poisoning usually outweighs everything else.


all that ground work has allready been put in place by his parents .. probably most of it was what he was taught age 2-10. and then reinforced 11-16 ...
There are powerful cultural forces countering the effects of parenting especially for boys after about 11.

And that presumes that kids listen to the words of their parents as much as what they see their parents do..



If that was the case then Motor Vehicle Accidents would not be the overwhelming Number1 cause of death BY FAR for 16-24 white males since forever...

But it is...
 

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John you almost have it figured out.. so let me help you peice together the pieces

No he doesn't need to master threshold breaking, he doesn't need to be a master of his own car , he doesn't need to know the exact limits..

But the more you know about your own car, and your own abilities. the more you will realize that while driving a properly maintained car while obeying all the posted laws, you should be well with in your cars limits, and your own.

knowing just how much cushion you really have, should make you feel comfortable. feeling comfortable will enable you to Scan around to see what other drivers are doing, which will give you more awareness of everything happening. keeping you safer, and again keeping you more comfotable. that's realy hard to do when the act of driving still feels so unnatural, so novel (becuase he's new)


Do EVERYTHING 1 to 1.5 seconds earlier

Go find soem dirt and gravel BIG PARKING LOT and go scoot around. Get comfy..

Like stage rallying you have to make the actual driving be muscle memory so most of your attention can be directed outwards toward all the threats and dangers.
Yes once actually driving becomes muslce memory he can direct his attention outwards..

If he auto crosses just 4 times, he can probably shave 1/2 a year of normal driving , to attain "muscle memory"

Same with the teen survival school, you can really pack in "muscle memory" faster than you would on the street.

So its not that i think he needs to become a winner autocrosser to drive well on the street. its all about just getting comfortable enogh with what's going on with your feet and hands on the pedals and steering wheel (and hopefully gear shifter) that all his focus ends up outside the car.

and that he learns the difference between "Staring" and "scanning" and also Where to look. so many drivers Stare 15 feet in front of their car on the highway, ever notice how many Idoits drive with their fog lights on on clear nights? Its because those drivers mostly look just 15 feet in front of their car and want the most light, right where they are actually looking. (morons!)

When they should be Scanning the road, mostly several car lengths in front of them, off to both sides, glance down at the speedo and then Scan back up the road way. scanning other lanes, side streets and side walks. when driving you should not be surprised all that often by the actions of others.. if you Stare 10 feet ahead, almost everything is a surprise cuasing a sudden reaction.

when you scan far ahead often you can predict what's about to happen, then you are anticapting what to do, and its feels much less panicky and more planned.

he doesn't need to autocross at all. but If you are trying to say autocrossing would not help a new driver, then I have to strongly, strongly disagree

I've been a teen survival instructor for 4 years now, we use 'elements' out of an autocross course to aid in our instruction. we also combine it with class time, and Lots of hands on driving with an instructor, but we actually get the drivers to push their cars near the limits and practice control there, and everyone leaves a better, more confident driver than when they came in (Still with a lot of learning to do) But i can hoenstly say every studant i've had so far, has left with more car control and confidence then when they came in.

:) :p

But anywho I think there's lots of good info in what we've both been saying (and what others have said too)

*Tonque in check* So we'll just agree that you're wrong okay? :p

er ... agree to disagree maybe is how that's supposed to go?
 

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you're right. driving 4 autocrosses at total time for the day of maybe 4 minutes-6 minutes makes for 16-20 minutes in a year, deffo should shave 1.2 off of street driving.
I'm wrong..
I was taught that people when learning new skills must practice the skill, get feed back, correct and then lots of practice to "incorporate' the skill....ever think about the word incorporate? in corpus---in the body...then more practice to reinforce the skill..

But I'm sure i am wrong...

I also taught a dozen of so people to drive cars, but several dozen to ride motorcycles---real moto-cross bikes with zero previous experience.. and taught skiing..
I am sure i taught all those people wrong too..

remember my metaphor where i said "If you had a sweetie pie that you could play "hide the zucchini just 2 hours a year with, it'd probably take a long time to get good at it" That was in reference to the average 2 events many newbs do in rally.

So, think back when you was a virgin, you think if you could practice booomba-booomba with Suzy Creamcheese 4 minutes every few months you'd learn anything?

I know I wouldn't.

But I'm probably wrong there too.
 

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i think the comparison would be practing "fun" with your girl friend (racing events) or with your hand (driving around @ the speed limit on public roads)

I do tend to forget that i came from one of the best autocross programs in the nation... in terms of seat time / Space for the course . 60-90 second lap times and 10-12 runs per day. so 4 days of reno autocross could be up to 40 minutes of racing. where in most regions that could be as little as 6 minutes....

where as most regions get 3 runs, at 40 seconds a peice.


But to use your analogy... what's gonna teach you more about sex, 60 minutes with an other virgin, or 20 minutes with Jenna Jamison (porn star).

i would figure if a virgin spent 20 minutes with a porn star, they would be a lot more comfortable the next time in the sack, then spending twice the time with an other virgin...


An other good option would be the Audi track days , 2 full track days with an instructor and these are for defensive driving skills, there are braking exercises and emergency lane changes, etc, etc... think they run about $500 vs $75 for the street survival vs $25-50 for an auto cross.

Yes the autocross will the be least amount of seat time of those 3.

and even after the Audi school, you will still need some 'driving around' to get to that muscle memory zone, where you can focus on everything out of your car.... :)


next anology should ether be Bacon based... or beer based... :)
 

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Skip the things your friends will try to talk you into.

Learn the basics and practice, practice, practice.

Most drivers on the road are terrible and you can learn a lot of bad habits. Find someone who has less bad habits than most, is not a parent (really, it's better for everyone), and is willing to give you time to get accustomed to driving.

Find some dirt or gravel roads with little to hit on them and build up to the point where you're comfortable driving along at an average speed at about 30 mph. It sounds very slow but you will find it takes more concentration than you think it does. When that gets to be OK for you very carefully experiment to see what happens when you hit the brakes or the gas when approaching a turn, when you're in the middle of a turn, when you are coming out of a turn, and when you're going up and down a hill. That's a practical physics lesson so you'd better be aware that some different things are going to happen. A small surprise in a safer situation will let you learn and not be so uncomfortable. It's better to learn to drive in slippery conditions at slower speeds that on the higway with a logging truck in the oncoming lane.

The big thing I suggest is to learn that attitude is most important. Don't drive when you're overly upset or pissed off. Keep alert at all times but not super tense. Don't get distracted by phones, music players, and especially too many friends in the car. Don't let anyone talk you into doing something stupid (it's pretty impressive to see a young person stand up for themself these days). And no, it's not OK to drive after even one beer even if someone tells you not to worry about it. You need all the wits you can to drive when you're learning.

It takes time to learn and practice to get to the point where you're OK with driving. Once you get that down, take a defensive driving class first. It will help you get rid of some of the bad habits folks pick up. After that you might think about some classes for competitve driving (track or rally) which will teach you how to go fast but as importantly how to react when things happen.

Never forget that a car is a place where people get very comfortable and secure but is still a very heavy object moving at high speed and controlling it means paying attention all the time. That's the very hard lesson that a lot of folks never learn.
 

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You've gotten a lot of advice already, but I thought I'd add a few things.

The fact that you're currently a bit scared is a GOOD sign. It means you know your limitations. The really bad drivers aren't the people who think they're bad drivers; they're the people who lack the sense to realize they have flaws.

Traffic is intimidating for everyone at first. There's a *lot* going on at once. For those of us who have been driving for years, it's easy to forget how much effort that takes to keep track of when you're not used to it. (I was immediately reminded of it, however, when I started learning to fly airplanes. I scared myself good a couple times, then.) After a while, you'll get more comfortable with it. It will help to minimize distractions when you're in traffic, for a while -- turn off the radio, put down the cell phone. Focus on what you're doing. Don't let yourself get behind the car, mentally -- if the car is taking you into a situation faster than you can figure out what to do about it, you're going too fast. (MOST people drive too fast in city traffic.)

Above all, view driving as a skill you're constantly honing. Notice situations you didn't handle well, so you can do better next time. Most people essentially stop learning once they pass their driving test, when they really ought to be just starting.
 

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Mä meen vittu sinne!
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Following distance should always be a few cars back.
Anticipation of what others are going to do is the best skill you can have. Always assume they may do something stupid and NEVER assume they know what you're going to do.
Red turn arrows are optional.
I know people that pay 2-3 times more in car insurance than I do because of tickets they got when they were younger. Takes a long time for that shit to go away so stay smart. Ten years of paying $50-100 more per month is 6-12K more in premiums paid over that time.
 

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Jct Motorsports &Collision
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I ask Tim O'Neil one time about schooling for my 17 yr old . He said it takes two weeks first week they dumb them up so they don't think they know everything , second week they teach and they learn he said. I told Tim he is going to learn like you and I did ,hope he's got a big wallet!
 

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As was stated earlier, going somewhere to push a car beyond its limits has great educational value. MAKING a car do something gives the seat of your pants an advantage when the car is deciding to do it on its own -- you have a little extra advance warning, and sometimes that's enough to prevent problems.
Also, as Yorgi told me years ago..."Don't worry about fast. Learn smooth, and fast will take care of itself."
As a professional driver with well over 20 years' experience in various heavy equipment, I can tell you this much. If you think you're going too fast, you are.
Other than that, find a biiiiiiiiiiiiig parking lot, and practice practice practice.
See yas out on The Great American Highway...
 
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