I grew up hearing discussions about carburators, suspensions and so on. When I was 3 years old my two brothers were involved with kart racing and were supported by Bardahl. In spite of being a doctor radiologist, my father loved any type of engine and the garage in our house was transformed in a ‘service garage’. My father and brothers loved to be under the cars and roll in the grease. Our weekends were filled with motor noises, fuel smell and pizza 🙂
After going to college to do mechanical engineering, my eldest brother(1948 – 2005) worked at Perkins, Ford and became a regional SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) president, he also was a quality auditor with huge knowledge of automotive manufacturing quality control. In his opinion, everything related to cars or vehicles had to be perfect. He had impeccable cars, from the painting to the engine, his driving was completely smooth. He was a role model to me and because of his example I graduated as a chemical engineer.
My other brother(58) who didn’t become an engineer is still involved with the engines 🙂 he takes part in 4×4 / Jeep Rallies in the Northeast Region of Brazil.
When I was 9 they decided to teach me how to drive, I remember I had to use 2 cushions on the car seat to be able to have a good visibility. So thanks father and brothers I learned how to drive very young.
I’ve been driving in Brazil, more specifically, Sao Paulo city for 27 years. Sao Paulo city has 6.3 million cars circulating daily. Following my eldest brother’s example, I’ve never been involved in any sort of car crash or had a car dented or scratched, therefore I consider myself an experienced driver.
After 4 years holding a provisional licence in Ireland I decided to apply for a full one. In spite of having learned how to drive on the left, to build self confidence and to get ready for the driving test, I had 6 driving lessons with 3 different instructors. I also bought a book called ‘Get It’, borrowed another one called ‘Rules of the Road’ and subscribed to an Irish website to be able to watch driving tutorials. The preparation total time was 2 months and the total cost between the application and getting ready for the test was €310.
Finally, I had my test yesterday, I was very nervous as I’m too hard on myself sometimes. The driving examiner was an unpleasant guy, kind of person who doesn’t hide he thinks his job is tedious. The test took about 30 minutes and there were occasions when I couldn’t understand what he was saying as he was so bored that he muttered when he asked me to turn left or right.
I was assessed in the following situations: moving off, driving in traffic, turning right and left, stopping, reversing round a corner, a turn about, a hill-start and parking.
In the beginning of the test while I was driving in a dual carriageway, 4 kids, who realized I was undertaking a driving test (the car had L plates and the examiner was wearing a bright safety warning vest) decided to mess. Two crossed the road in front of the car causing me to stop, which was OK, but while I was waiting for them to finish crossing the other two stayed in the middle screaming. Not a good start I have to say.
That surreal situation contributed to increase my anxiety and after the happening I made a serious mistake. On a divided junction I stopped just after the red traffic light. At that point I knew I had just failed the driving test.
When the test was finished the guy with peculiar ‘goodwill’ told me the bad news and gave me the form with the results. He also said that the details about the faults could be found on the back of the form and I need more work to improve my driving (LOL!!!!).
Even if I hadn’t stopped in the wrong place (just after the traffic light), the guy gave me several marks for bad observation when turning right and left including a red mark meaning potentially dangerous right turning, several marks for bad driving on the straight, on bends and marks for wrong reaction to hazards.
Looking at the back of the form, it isn’t clear why I got so many marks. It just says the amount of marks that fails you. OK I know I got the marks but if I don’t know how, when and why, how can I improve?
As far as I remember I was following all the instructions given by the driver instructors, video tutorials and books, therefore I can’t understand the absurd amount of marks given. 🙁 Perhaps I was so nervous that I hallucinated and did everything incorrectly?
It’s hard for me to swallow this test result except for the mark I got when I stopped after the traffic light. I am a 45 years old mother and I am concious of my driving skills and my responsibility.
I’m going to apply for the driving test again and learn how to act properly in order to play the exorcist girl or owl role, turning my head at least 270 degrees every time I perform a manoeuvre to convince the examiner that I AM OBSERVING.
No wonder why everybody says that it’s nearly impossible to pass the test first time even if you are an experienced driver and that passing the test doesn’t mean you are a good driver. In Ireland when you complete 17 years old you can undertake a theory driving test and obtain a learner permit. It means that you can drive in the Irish roads (except motorways) even if you’ve never touched a car but you MUST be accompanied by a full driving license holder. Please tell me, how an experienced driver sitting on the passenger seat can avoid a car accident caused by a learner driver? Does the passenger have control over the person who is driving? This is a sad example of how this system does not work.
I find it difficult to understand how a 30 minutes acting to satisfy an individual who barely knows you can give you or take from you the right to drive everywhere.
Anyway, I had to produce this long post to lick my wounds, now I’m moving on and applying for the next test, no hurry, my only issue is, each time I apply it costs me €75, I don’t have a clue about how many times I will have to undertake this test until an examiner is satisfied with my ‘acting’ so I can’t guesstimate how much money I’m going to spend. I hope It doesn’t become too expensive for me as in this recessionary times it’s a good thing only for the test crowd. I will pass the Irish driving test some day. 🙂
I’d appreciate if you’d participate in my poll on the Irish Driving Test. Thanks ! 😀
Update: You may be interested in reading about my other attempts:
Driving Test In Ireland – 2nd Attempt
Driving Test In Ireland – 3rd Attempt
Driving Test In Ireland – 4th Attempt
When did you pass your Driving Test in Ireland?
- 2nd - 4th time (57%, 21 Votes)
- Still trying to pass (32%, 12 Votes)
- 1st time (16%, 6 Votes)
- Gave up trying to pass (8%, 3 Votes)
- 5th - 10th time (3%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 43