Sunday, 16 March 2014
Long Hot Nottingham Summer for Driving Instructors
I love the summer. Getting out in the garden in my shorts pottering about. Playing with the kids in the park. Clear blue skies and everybody happy. Pity I'm a driving instructor really.
I find a long hot summer can be brutal in my line of work. One problem in particular is made worse for me in the hot weather is fatigue. The hot sun pounding through the windscreen hour after hour can really make my eyelids start to droop. If I have a break in the day I always go for the power nap. 20 minutes in a car park with the alarm on my mobile all set really sets me up for the rest of the day. It can be dangerous to let fatigue get the better of you when driving. Before you know it your attention is wondering all over the place. Get some rest and have a break if you can.
Petrol is so expensive nowadays and being from the north I'm really tight with money. I like to keep air conditioning to a minimum to save on fuel. I'll use it during the hottest part of the afternoon if I have to. Driver training is usually done at lower speeds so it's more economical to keep the windows open a bit. This can create a problem with road noise when giving instructions. I like the cabin to be quiet when I'm teaching and I find pupils feel less nervous when isolated from the noise of the world around us. Not possible in the summer though. I just raise my voice to be heard above the throng.
Keeping the inside of the windscreen clean is essential in the summer. Catch the sun at the right angle and those greasy smears and fingermarks which were more or less invisible before suddenly appear and can really effect vision. I wonder what my pupil thinks of me as well. Perhaps they think I'm scruffy and lazy when the windscreen is dirty so I always get the Mr Muscle glass cleaner on the job.
Road markings can be hard to see with the sun reflecting back from the road surface. I hate the noise of the fan coming on all the time. I'd rather be out in the fresh air than in the car. Am I not the most miserable person in the world? 'Keep it dull and overcast' is my motto for the summer. This is the optimum weather condition for teaching people to drive. Besides, why should everyone else be out having fun when I'm stuck in a car? Humbug.