Need some driving tips


splutty1
11-04-2005, 07:46 PM
I'm 17 (been driving for a year) and have already been in a few small fender benders. Two resulted in no damage to either cars, one scrapped the paint and costed me $400. All of these had to deal with parking. One of my biggest problems is I don't know the dimensions of my car that great (which is pretty big, a Ford Crown Victoria). I'm not completely stupid though and do have a pretty good idea where my car is but it could be a lot better. Also when parking I usually have to repark because I'm usually a little into another parking spot.

I have friends that can drive like experts and can be comfortable while doing it, which is how I wan't to drive. So I was wondering is there any tips on better learning my car dimensions, parking, or just some general tips.

Crazer
11-05-2005, 03:53 PM
As far as parking goes practice makes perfect.

drdisque
11-05-2005, 07:15 PM
you might want to get curb feelers or fisheye mirrors that will allow you to feel your car's dimensions better.

Ridenour
11-05-2005, 11:41 PM
As far as improving in driving in general, about 2 or 3 years ago I bought the book "Speed Secrets - Mental Strategies to Maximize your Racing Performance" at Schuelers. The book is a very informative book on driver programming, integration, cross-functional-brain-processing, and really just changes how you view your driving, and yourself for that matter. It will make you a much more alert, assertive driver, who has a much better feel of the vehicle. Given, the book is to increase your performance on the track; but I found it helps just put me in the "zone" more even just in daily driving. I'm a lot more proactive and alert then I was before reading that book. I got it at Schuelers - I would highly reccomend it.

bmwboy
11-06-2005, 08:21 PM
When your very close and u don't know if you'll hit or not go very slowly because u can touch a cars bumper without denting it or leaving any marks or damage, just have to be very carefull, no sudden jolts... Secondly if you want to fit through a tight spot between two cars for instance, u first need to decide if u fit, then if u do, u just focus on the driver side and try to pass as close as u can without touching... practice makes perfect...

Bobs8201
11-17-2005, 07:51 PM
In driver's ed last year, the guy made us get out of our car, and measure how far away the actual driver was from the tip of the bumper. say it was about 5 feet. I would then measure where i was to where whatever was infront of me was in my head.. worked for me anyway

da_moose
11-18-2005, 02:14 PM
When your very close and u don't know if you'll hit or not go very slowly because u can touch a cars bumper without denting it or leaving any marks or damage, just have to be very carefull, no sudden jolts... Secondly if you want to fit through a tight spot between two cars for instance, u first need to decide if u fit, then if u do, u just focus on the driver side and try to pass as close as u can without touching... practice makes perfect...

On your first point...That is the most retarded thing I have ever heard!! If I ever caught you doing that to my car the first thing I would do is call the police and have an accident report made so it affects your insurance, then I would be bringing my car into a body shop, and have them go over the car with a fine tooth comb. Then I would have the car realigned, every piece of suspension and steering component inspected and replaced as neccessary and then send you the bill. I drive a Hyundai Accent, how much do you think that would cost if I drove a BMW?

As far as learning how to drive, try going into an empty parking lot (someplace where you won't hit anything) and practice parking. Once your comfortable with that then start trying to park next to cars. If you have any doubt as to whether or not you will hit a car, STOP and start over. Just a little tip for parallel parking, if your doing it next to a building that has windows along the side then use them as a mirror to judge the distance between your back bumper and the front of the car behind you. It really does make that small space so much bigger when you can use it all.

bmwboy
11-18-2005, 10:46 PM
@da_moose

This is very commonly done in the center of big cities with small streets that are full of cars and is regarded as normal parking behaviour as long as you do it properly... the idea is not that you touch, but if you do there is no damage... if you disengage the clutch with one leg (carefully), without any gas and have your other leg on the brake slowing it down even futher, you are crawling at a snails speed...

da_moose
11-19-2005, 02:28 AM
@da_moose

This is very commonly done in the center of big cities with small streets that are full of cars and is regarded as normal parking behaviour as long as you do it properly... the idea is not that you touch, but if you do there is no damage... if you disengage the clutch with one leg (carefully), without any gas and have your other leg on the brake slowing it down even futher, you are crawling at a snails speed...

So basically what your saying is everybody else drives like idiots so that makes it alright? Big city or not that's rediculous. It's one thing if it is actually an accident but to blow it off as common practice is just plain irresponsible. At the minimum, a hit like that will scratch the clear coat which in my book is unacceptable. In any case, accident or not I would still call the police and have it documented just in case (regardless of where I am).

2of9
11-19-2005, 09:46 PM
you just have to drive alot and know your car alot more so you know how big it is and what it can take.

lowlymarine
12-24-2005, 07:07 PM
I drive a Mercury Grand Marquis (same gigantic chasis as a Crown Vic), and I had a major problem learning how to park that thing properly. My advice is that if you aren't sure you can make it, don't try. If you can do so without holding up traffic, get out and look, then back up and try again as necessary. It takes some getting used to, but you do have the advantage of being able to see the front end of your car (if you're tall enough), as oppsed to something like a Camaro where the front end tapers off to where its invisible to the driver.

Right_LiRrr
12-24-2005, 10:25 PM
Firstly, practice makes perfect.

And this is what you practice to know the dimensions of your car.

You will need a friend.

What you do is to have the friend stand at every point of the car for a few minutes (e.g. all corners, nose, tail, sides etc etc). And all you do is just sit in your normal driving position and remember what it feels like to have an object at that certain point near your car. Look in the mirrors, out the windows, with your head slanted and peering out the corner of your eye etc etc. What your aim is is to memorise what it FEELS like to have an object where it is.

Repeat until you're pretty comfortable.

Also it helps to have the friend randomly be like half a foot away and you tell them if they are actually touching your car or a bit away.

This is what I did for the first 2 hrs when I first learned to drive.

And for the next two weeks I spent 2-3 hrs everyday in an empty parking lot practicing parking. That's ALL I did for the first 2 weeks of driving. Just circling a parking lot and parking in the bays.

And I can tell you now, after driving for about 4 yrs of driving, my friends think i'm crazy for just sliding into a bay, or reverse parking, too quickly. If I hadn't spent so many hours in the beginning practicing, there is no way I'd have so much confidence in my parking skills. Case in point, my mum has been driving for 15 yrs and still cannot reverse park.

Just practice, over and over again. There's nothing else you can do. You can read books to give you pointers and good techniques, but if you don't practice it 100 times, you'll still be crap.

doock87
03-08-2006, 07:32 PM
this may be an old thread, but i feel that i need to post anyways.

@da_moose:
relax.
nobody will take you seriously if you file an accident report with no visible damage done to your car, you'll be treated like a lunatic. if a car gently nudges another, no damage will be done. at all. that's what bumpers are for. their purpose is in their name: bumpers.

as for the whole deal with not knowing your vehicle's dimensions, i have a similar problem. i can't tell for the life of me how far away i am from things behind me. i try to take cues from reflections in the car behind, or how bright my rear-lights get in relation to distance. also, pay attention to how far your lights get spaced in relation to what's behind you as you're backing up.

once again, i appologize for bringing up an old post, but it's not like anyone posts here to behin with :-/

nikita7
03-15-2006, 06:01 PM
I live in San Francisco. Parking here is a biatch. My grand prix is not a small car,so parallel parking becomes painful at times. From time to time I do bump the cars in front of me when the parking spot is really small. Just don't do any rapid movements when parking in the tight spot. Keep one foot on the brake when you are really really tight on space, if you bump the other car at 1/10 mph there will be no damage done to your car or the car you bumped.

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