Ah to be 17 again! Yeah right…It’s easy to look back on those days with rose-tinted glasses. But would I really want all the anxiety and insecurities back again? To be 17 and to have the Leaving Cert looming and the driving test still in the future? I don’t think so.

To be honest, when I look back on my early driving career, things went rather well. But if I were to give 17 year old Caroline a few pointers to help ease her into her driving career with a bit more grace, the list would go something like this:

1. It’s all just grand driving mummy’s car but wait until you have to look after your own. Car ownership is expensive so plan ahead and don’t take mummy’s goodwill for granted.

2. But when mummy or daddy offers you driving tips, say thank you but no and stick with the professionals.

3. You’ll get done in your driving test for observation. Check your mirrors!

4. Don’t cry. It’s ok to fail your test the first time, you will be a better driver after the second.

5. Watch out for pillars in car parks.

6. Do look after your first car and protect it from silly folk in car parks. You’re going to have it for a long time.

7. Don’t get riled on the road by the obnoxious behaviour of other drivers. It’s just a fact of life. Don’t take it personally.

8. Check your oil levels regularly. This is the one car maintenance tip that you should really, really pay attention to, especially if you buy a second hand car.

9. There will always be lesser drivers than you; and there will always be better drivers than you (but you’ll still be pretty awesome behind the wheel!).

10. Never trust a man in overalls.

What would you tell your 17 year old self about driving?

Caroline Kidd