Worst First Driving Lesson Ever? Interview with Learner Driver from Viral Video ‘Cyclist Gets Hit by a Parked Car’
On your first ever driving lesson the thought of hitting anything is always going to be haunting the back of your mind, but Edward Barlow from Liverpool could never have guessed what would be in store during his first lesson when a cyclist rode straight into the back of his instructor’s car while Ed was parked.
We caught up with Ed to find out the full story behind the video that has now been seen by millions and has featured on a plethora of international news websites.
Hi Ed, tell us about your first ever driving lesson.
I was obviously very nervous as anyone would be on their first driving lesson, this was the first time I’d really driven a car at all. It all started off well, we were driving around the Sefton Park area, where it’s quite quiet with only a few cars and, well, cyclists, but I’ll get back to that in a second!
I was getting a feel for the car, learning the clutch and my instructor was pleased with how things were going,
After a while he asked me to pull into the side of the road to park, so i pulled over, put the brakes on and left the car running. My instructor told me I was handling the car well and not swerving like many people do on their first lesson, when suddenly there was this BANG! A cyclist had crashed into the parked car.
What was your reaction?
My first thought was I’d left the car in gear and it had stalled, lurching forwards, but I’m pretty proud to mention that I didn’t actually stall for the whole lesson! So I turned to my instructor and said, “I think someone has crashed into the back of me.”
He immediately went out and made sure he was okay, while I was sort of in shock. I mean, it was my first driving lesson, I thought I best just stay in the car! I didn’t know the rules, if I got out the car was I leaving a running vehicle unattended?
The cyclist then got back up and cycled off, he was okay but for a small cut and his bike was fine.
What was it like to watch it back?
My instructor got out his iPad, which is connected to the dash cams in the car, and we watched him cycling head down, riding straight into the back of the car. I really didn’t want to laugh at the time but it was hilarious! It reminded me of something from Jackass!
How did you manage to persevere with the rest of your lesson?
The rest of the lesson was fine, I was now super alert for every possible danger. The whole time I was driving past cyclists and hoping they wouldn’t fly into me. By the end of the lesson my instructor asked me if I wanted the video and he sent it to my phone, which was when I put it on Facebook.
And that’s when it started to go viral?
Yeah, when I woke up the next morning it had something like 50,000 views, and I thought it was hilarious. It was so weird! I think cyclists and drivers alike were sharing the video and we were up to 500,000. It got to the point where people were showing my Dad the video not knowing I was in the car!
Have you ever had a chance to speak to the cyclist?
No I haven’t, he’s never got in touch. I can imagine he’s really embarrassed. I hope he’s okay, I really do, I completely empathise with him.
Do you think young drivers get a bad rep?
I think young drivers on the whole are trying to concentrate as much as they can, they aren’t trying to race, they’re just trying to get it right and pass their test. There’s a very small minority of young drivers who let the side down, I remember when I was at school there were a few people who messed around but the vast majority just want to drive safely.
How many lessons have you had now?
I’m 10 lessons in, I’ve done all of my manoeuvres and the theory test needs to be booked, but I’ve been mainly focusing on just doing the basics of driving so far. My next lesson will be driving at higher speeds, so I’ll be getting to go at 60-70mph.
Confident for a first time pass on the practical test then?
My driving instructor has a really good record, but I’m not going to say anything, I’m just going to touch wood and hope for the best!
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