It figures on the first stormy, rainy day I would have my in-car evaluation but that is the way things go sometimes. We left the house in some rain and while I was in the waiting room it started to pour. Oh well, in Ohio one must drive in the rain so I got that checkbox checked early.
First, my instructor Doreen drove us down to a local park that today with the rain had a totally empty parking lot. It then was getting myself adjusted, mirrors adjusted, and how to engage the hand controls and how things worked. Something pretty cool is I can get a spinner knob that connects to Bluetooth that can control things like the wipers and turn signals. Once I was adjusted we drove around the parking lot practicing the throttle, turns and stops.
The hardest thing for me was getting used to a V-8 engine that is in this car, I’ve never driven one and well, let’s just say a V-8 throttle takes a very light touch. I adjusted well enough and after practicing some parking and small maneuverabilities Doreen took me across the street to a 25 neighborhood with lots of 4-way stops.
As I got used to the throttle, and making both left and right hand turns I gained more confidence. Doreen saw that I had pretty solid driving skills and started to talk about the process. I will get 5 hours of training and after that we will take the instructor car to Huber Heights BMV and I will take both a written and in-car test and hopefully then leave with the hand-controls endorsement on my license.
She knew that I was ready for pushing, and despite the still on/off pouring rain we went to 35 roads (one with a school zone) and multi-lane 45/50 roads. Passed both left hand turns and right hand turns at traffic lights, though in general I need to clean up my left-hand turns. Those have always been a small weakness of mine. I still struggled with the V-8 throttle occasionally but after I revealed I’ve only ever driven V-4’s Doreen said my throttle issues made sense and I just need more practice.
Part of passing the driving test in Ohio is the maneuverability test with cones/etc. I am lucky I guess that I am young enough for that part of the test to be the same as when I did my initial drivers training nearly 25 years ago. We didn’t practice that today because of the rain, (which I understood) just like going on the highway today was also a bit too much.
All and all with good scheduling and luck I should have my hand-controls endorsement by the 4th of July then my car can be modified. I did practice getting my wheelchair in and out of my current car, and for me it is easier to put pop the wheels off, and put the chair in the back seat. I’ll take a picture and post it another time.