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How I approaching junctions safely

Owen Nutkins profile

Owen Nutkins

October 16, 2017

Learning to drive Young driver stories 3 min read

So firstly, I think it’s best that I introduce myself.

My name is Owen, I am an 18-year-old filmmaker and photographer from the UK, currently studying media (Film & TV) in college. I have a huge passion for this subject, and a passion to travel and to explore the world – I hope to combine all these in the future.

It is a privilege to be working with Marmalade to document my driving journey, not only to help myself understand driving more but also to help all of you. I recently started taking driving lessons over the summer in the hope of passing before heading back to college. I am now currently back at college and I am on possibly my last few blocks of driving lessons; As exciting as that is, I’ve released there have been a lot of things that I’ve had to learn and overcome.

Struggling with junctions

Little problems and little mistakes here and there make a difference, and one that I’ve only just figured out is ‘plan to go and not to stop’. This applies everywhere; from your home street to crossroads, to roundabouts, to almost every road really.

Planning to go and not to stop is a technique that I have only recently gotten to grips with, and roundabouts have been my biggest problem within this area; the idea that they are always busy, the thought of not knowing when it’s safe to go, and then moving off correctly. During my last couple of lessons, I have however improved hugely on these and my instructor said: “It’s like all of a sudden, you’ve shot up and understood”.

My problem was that when I approached a roundabout or any junction in general, I’d slow down but to a stage that had near enough stopped before reaching the junction. My mind was basically expecting a car to be in the way and in that sense forcing me to stop and re-adjust the gear, checking the road again even when it was actually clear on approach.

How I now approach junctions safely

If I simply just slow down to a pace that means the car will still move, creeping forward slowly, I have enough time to get in the right gear, and to look for space before the point of having to stop. I then have the chance to continue on to the junction straight away if the road I am joining is clear. Since testing that with my instructor, whenever a gap has been there I have just pulled out promptly without having to stop the car at all.

My instructor said: ‘’Challenge yourself in your own car, make a bet with your dad and see if you can travel from A to B without stopping unnecessarily’’, and let’s say I will accept that challenge! If you have any problems such as this, my advice would be, learn and accept the easier way, and challenge yourself much like I am.

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Owen Nutkins profile

By Owen Nutkins

'I'm a filmmaker and photographer from the UK. I've recently started taking driving lessons and I feel it would be great to write about my personal experiences, and be able to share advice to others whilst I prepare myself for my driving test. I've recently started taking driving lessons and I feel it would be great to write about my personal experiences, and be able to share advice to others whilst I prepare myself for my driving test.'  See more posts by Owen

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