Alex – Driving With a Beginner [ Driving Practice]

Alex is learning how to drive! Join her as she navigates through the process.

The goal: To get the “N” before the end of January, 2016.

Goal for driving experience: 3 times per week of practice to a total of at least 60 hours

Date: Sunday, October 04, 2015 2:00 PM-4:00 PM

Learn/Practice: Basic Stuff

Experience: 2 hours

Total experience: 2 hours

Total experience before the lesson: 0 hours recent (0-3 hours many moons ago)

Location: North Burnaby / Burnaby Heights

Weather Report: Clear, blue sky, Warm, Dry

Driving Practice #1 – Burnaby Heights

bby

Wow! Nicely done!! For someone who has driven for 1 hour in her life, you are doing Amazing!! 

What Alex Says:

Hours 0-2, Oct. 4

Firstly, it was such a beautiful area. Especially going down a steep hill with mountains greeting you in front.

We started from scratch and went around a quiet neighbourhood.  There was some post-construction around, so it was like a built-in obstacle course with a cone, a rock, and protruding potholes.

Anyways, today I learned:

  • How to start the car

  • How to go straight through an intersection with no stop sign

    • *you don’t need to slow down if the intersection is clear

  • How to turn

    • *go out a bit (⅓ of the intersection for left turns, a lot less for right,) turn the wheel about 270 degrees, hold the wheel in that position until you’re facing where you wanna go, then shuffle it back

    • *look far ahead to where you wanna go

    • *check your mirror(s) once you’ve finished turning

  • How to stop and go straight through at stop signs, as well as the different types of stops/intersections and the rules to follow at them.

    • *at a two-way stop, once you’ve stopped and scanned the intersection, creep the car forward if visibility isn’t good, scanning the intersection again

    • *make a full stop; don’t stop too gradually. make it clear that you’ve stopped, especially at four-way stops so that other drivers don’t get confused 

  • How to go straight through a roundabout

  • Blind spots

  • How to back up in a straight line

    • *keeping your left hand on top of the steering wheel will prevent the car from going to the left/right (look over your right shoulder while backing)

I felt like other drivers have different personalities, some are calm but others… not. Driving is pretty dangerous, so the best advice I’ve gotten is to drive defensively.

I’m excited to drive on more hills because it feels like a mini-rollercoaster to me.

Some things that surprised me were:

  • Turns are one of the hardest things to learn. I have yet to be able to shoulder-check confidently whilst turning.

  • Habits are easier to pick up that you’d think! At first I wasn’t shuffling my hands whilst turning, which apparently is unsafe due to airbags [How to hold – and hot hold – the steering wheel.] but I tried to remind myself to do so.

  • How much of a blind spot (blind zone) there is in front of the car

  • How far ahead you have to look

One thing that was hard was staying in the middle of the road when driving down a narrow street with parked cars on both sides. I need to work on my vehicle location perception because I fear slamming a window.

Also I had a few questions for next time:

At a four way stop, if you and a car across from you stop at the intersection at the same time, and you are turning opposite ways (eg. you are turning right, and they are turning left,) can you both go at the same time? Or was there something about how vehicles turning right go first?

Also, what do you do if you and that same car are both turning left?

Answers to be continued next time… 

 

Blind zone in front of vehicle (looks are deceiving)

You see this:

DSC_7167

The space between the vehicles is this:

FrontBlindZone

Instructor’s Notes

  • Hand position on the wheel looks a bit low: 8 and 4: Try to readjust to 9:00 and 3:00
  • Teach Hills, how to start on them without rolling back, How to creep the car forward on a steep hill when you have a stop sign with a Porsche behind and it’s raining 
  • More 2-way stops with traffic & right of way 
  • Need more 2-way w/stop sign w/creeping forward @ stop sign R turn
  • 4-way stops: with turns, with traffic & right-of-way 
  • Are you remembering to talk about the reasons for doing things, 
  • Right of way not really taught (process) 
  • Approach to vehicle not taught 
  • Not to trust other cars’ turn signal not discussed 
  • We had some hidden stop signs (vision blocked by large parked vehicle or trees – Try to get student to look for the back of the other stop sign for the oncoming traffic. This means you likely have one as well. 
  • Location so important. Not too difficult, not too much traffic. Consistent level of difficulty and large enough
  • Vehicle positioning when waiting to turn right for pedestrians (no stop sign) and turning left (no stop sign for us) not taught
  • Someone riding a bike is supposed to stop at stop signs as well, but always yield to pedestrians (as long as it is safe to stop, we do not have to slam on the brakes if it means getting rear-ended) 
  • Sharing the road with other cars when you driving on narrow roads like that (who should pull over, how much, do you signal, car behind you)
  • Can’t teach everything in one lesson 
  • What should you see in the mirrors 
  • How to pull over not really addressed i.e. to pull over close to the curb but without hitting the curb, to get the vehicle straight not taught/practiced  
  • Pulling in out/ Mirror/Signal/Shoulder Check 
  • Pics of mirrors
  • How to brake/stop smoothly 
  • Pics of front blind zone 
  • I don’t want to teach that hand-over-hand is “bad” as it is still good to know for parking, and when doing a U-turn or 2 or 3-point turn, perhaps traffic circles, as it is a faster/easier way of steering in those cases; and it is not illegal.  
  • We saw squirrels and birds but didn’t really discuss what to do about them when driving : We can not always stop for squirrels and risk getting rear-ended. We have options, like honking at them, and always being aware of what’s behind you (if anything), as it does matter.  Maybe we’re driving too slowly. The faster you drive, the faster the squirrel runs away. 
  • Note to self: Wash your car, At least the windows, before making videos via dash cam or Go Pro

Most important focus today:

“Look where you want to go.” 

What to see in mirrors:

 
IMG_2539
 
IMG_2540
 
IMG_2541
 
IMG_2542

Driving Practice #2 – Narrow Roads

Alex is learning how to drive! Join her as she navigates through the process.

The goal: To get the “N” before the end of January, 2016.

Goal for driving experience: 60 hours

Date: Monday, October 05/2015

Learn/Practice: Basic Stuff

Experience: 1.5 hours

Total experience: 3.5 hours

Location: North Vancouver

Weather Report: Dusk/Dark/Clear/Dry

Dash Cam: MIA 

Location:

NV

What Alex Says: 

Hours 2-3.5, Oct 5

Today we went driving in the evening, so it was already dusk by the time we started. Driving in the dark IS a lot trickier, but we started on a quiet neighbourhood similar to the one we went to yesterday.

We continued practicing a lot of the skills I learned during Hours 0 and 2.

This time, the things I tried to remember were:

  1. Look far, far ahead to the block after the one you’re on.

  2. Keep your eyes moving.

  3. Scan every intersection left, centre, right, and then left again.

  4. Check your side mirror and shoulder check before turning.

  5. Check your rear-view mirror after you finish turning.

  6. Use the turn signal gently to avoid turning on the high-beam lights.

Things that surprised me were:

  1. When stopping on a hill, you can let go of the gas pedal instead of touching the brakes for a smoother stop.

  2. How far ahead you have to look, and that doing so helps you keep your car pointing straight.

  3. That some two-way stops will have a sign saying “two-way” underneath the stop sign, so you have to read the sign and not just assume that it says “four-way” if it has a tab on the bottom of the stop sign. 

  4. That there’s a glare-protecting screen you can flip over your rear-view mirror in the dark if a car’s headlights behind you are too bright

  5. How easily the high-beam lights turn on when you accidentally move the turn signal too aggressively.

  6. When creeping forward from a stop sign, creep out until you can see ¾ of the blocks on either side.

It was harder to see intersections and stop signs in the dark, but we did see joggers and dogs with their own headlights, and I swear I saw a raccoon. So at least it was kept interesting.

Oh and we keep getting so lucky with the beautiful views. We were going down a hill and the whole of the city in front of us was lit up with lights.

We then did some busier streets (eg. Grand Boulevard) and traffic lights before I recognized that I was getting tired and should call it a night. Overall, driving at night made everything feel a bit other-worldly at first, but I got used to it soon enough.

Hours 3.5-5.5, Oct 11

I started off rusty because I hadn’t driven for a few days, but after a bit it came back to me.  Turning is getting easier, and I was feeling comfortable enough to go faster than I did on the first day.

Some tricks:

  1. for as smoother stop, ease off and on the brakes gently a few times just before the car jerks to a halt. This tip for sure helped me reduce the jolt in my stop.
  2. you can stop up a hill using just your accelerator by finding a sweet spot where you’re pressing on the gas pedal just a bit. this helps prevent your car from rolling backwards when you want to start moving again. for example, when you have to inch forward at a stop sign when stopping on a steep hill
  3. another way to prevent your car from rolling backwards when starting on a hill is to:
    1. press on the brakes
    2. turn on your parking brake
    3. lightly press on the accelerator
    4. turn off the parking brake

Oh yeah I got honked at several times! I’m guessing because I was too slow. I tried to ignore them as best as possible. We also went on busier roads with traffic lights where I had to go faster (35km/hr) to prevent road rage.

I tried to remember:

  1. Scan the intersections
  2. Look far ahead
  3. Check the rearview mirror
  4. Shoulder-check before you pull out, pull over, or turn.
  5. Shoulder-check right before you’re about to turn.
  6. When going straight through an intersection, generally do not move your car to the right as if you are going to turn right.
  7. When turning right, move your car to the right. Follow the curve of the curb, if there is one.
  8. Use your turn signals more gently so as not to turn on the high-beam lights.

I noticed that it was harder for me to look far ahead when going faster.

Things that surprised me were:

  1. You should try to look as far ahead as possible.
  2. Generally, you scan left, centre, right, and left again, but sometimes you have to focus on the side you can’t see well if you can see the other sides.
  3. if there are no traffic lights, it is the safest to wait for every pedestrian who is crossing to cross the road, regardless of the side they are crossing. This is because the car behind you may think it’s safe to go because you went and may not see the pedestrian.
  4. You should check your rearview mirror every 5-10 seconds.
  5. You can’t trust people’s turn signals. For example, even if they are signalling to turn right, they may go straight. You should try to make eye contact with the driver. If you can’t make eye contact, you can look at the positioning of the car or look for the direction in which the car’s tires are pointing.

I also saw 3-way stops, the rules for which are the same as for a four-way stop.

We talked more about the rules of the road:

  1. At an intersection, if there is space, two cars across from each other can turn left at the same time (assuming they both turn correctly.)
  2. If you are waiting to turn left at a two-way stop and you don’t have a stop sign, after yielding to pedestrians, you should pull into the road ⅓ of the way. this will make it clear that you are waiting to turn left.

All in all, I think I’m better than I was during the first day.

Q: I know you’re meant to shoulder-check before you’re about to turn, but should you check the side mirror at that time, too?

Instructor’s thoughts:

Yes, generally before you right turn you would check the right mirror approaching the intersection and then shoulder check before your turn, but it will depend on each unique situation. It is hard to say the same habit is true for every turn, as there are so many different shapes and sizes and varieties of intersections.

There isn’t much point in checking a mirror if you are not able or planning to do anything about what you see inside it, like if you are not planning on moving your vehicle position towards the right to get ready for a right turn for example then do you need to check the right mirror to see what’s there? Or if you are driving over a bridge and you are in the right lane Beside the edge of the bridge and there is no sidewalk, just a wall, do you need to check the right mirror then?

Yes it is good to check the mirror to look for bikes (that is what you would mostly be looking for before turning right,) but keep in mind also bikes are travelling sometimes much slower than you, and you sometimes will be aware of them because you drove past them sometime before your right turn or you saw them around the area.

If you’re on a narrow road for example and you are planning to turn right but because the road is so narrow you aren’t moving your vehicle position until you actually turn, then maybe the shoulder check is enough.

For sure we do need to shoulder check at least once before every right turn and sometimes twice (if you’re on a very wide Road and you are moving your car closer to the curb before the turn, then you need a shoulder check before you do the moving over part, as it is pretty much a lane change, and there might be a bike or something else In that space. If you then stop for a stop sign or pedestrian before your turn, then time goes by, and that means you need one more shoulder check before you turn to make sure another bike or jogger or pedestrian hasn’t appeared and is wanting to cross your path before you turn).

Things can change very quickly in front of you when you’re driving so you don’t really want to do a lot of extra unnecessary mirror checks or shoulder checks because it means you are taking your eyes off the road possibly when you don’t need to. So whenever you do take your eyes off the road it should be done quickly (1/2 second or 1 second for a shoulder check!) and for a good reason, that’s my opinion anyway. Try to think why you need to do something rather than trying to memorize patterns.. Driving is an art form, more art than science if you ask me.

Having said that it is important to eventually (I mean with experience) be fully aware of what is around your vehicle a full 360 degrees pretty much at all times when you are driving, and the only way to do that is to check the mirrors – all of them- pretty frequently, no matter if you are planning to turn or not.

We have been driving in areas which are pretty quiet too, it might be more natural to check the mirrors when you’re in an environment which is busier with a lot of traffic and bikes and pedestrians I think.

The reason to check the mirror after turning a corner and in general is so that if you see a car is approaching quickly from behind then you can speed up to the speed limit so the car doesn’t have to slow down because of you. Drivers get frustrated if they are driving along and then a car turns and drives slower and causes them to slow down. (This is sometimes unavoidable when you are learning as you don’t really have a choice, it is not smart to drive faster than you are feeling comfortable with, but I mean for experienced drivers in general)

Also, If you see a car behind you approaching and they are going faster than the speed limit and then they follow behind you too closely, you can do something about this unsafe situation by either pulling over and letting the car go past or In a case you are not able to pull over you can increase the amount of space between you and the vehicle in front of you (when there is one) so that if there is a sudden stop or slowing of the vehicle in front for a red light or unexpected pedestrian running across the road for example, you can use the extra space in front to gradually slow down, which forces the car behind you to gradually slow down too, and this reduces the risk of you being rear-ended. If you have no idea there is a car too close behind you and you stop suddenly it would be likely the car behind you isn’t able to stop in time, especially if the driver isn’t alert.

In addition there may be emergency vehicles approaching and more often than not you can see them way before you can hear the siren, especially if you are like most people and have the music on. And sometimes there is no siren because the police don’t want the bad guys to know they are coming so they only have the flashing lights.

I want people not to get overwhelmed trying to be perfect and remember all of the checks and things and trying to remember 1 million things at the same time. That tends to hurt people’s brains. Besides, it is a process, and, that is why you have a co-pilot beside you, to help you and warn you about hazards that you might not be aware of, among other reasons. I like to just add a little bit more each time like I am building a house. One little bit and then the next bit. In the right order. And I add the roof on last, not in the middle. After you are a bit more experienced, we can increase the difficulty and the standards. You are doing very well! 

 Notes

  • Do we always have to scan left, centre, right, left, in that order, for every intersection?
  • Why else do we look far ahead aside from good car control? If there’s a crash or traffic jam or other issues far ahead, you can see them and avoid them before getting stuck, It is good to see what is up there because you are going to be there kind of soon, you will be prepared before you get there, being proactive not reactive
  • Stop and take a picture of beautiful views, next time, you can get the best of both worlds without driving distracted
  • Excellent to recognize being tired is a good time to stop driving

We share the narrow road

  • I seem to have inadvertently taught the driver to always move vehicle to the right part of the road when approaching a stop sign, but almost all the roads on Oct 04 were very narrow (parked vehicles), so this was necessary because 2 cars travelling in opposite directions could not fit through the available space at the same time…. and, it is not polite to hog the road, However, on Oct. 05, we had some much wider roads..on which 2 vehicles travelling in opposite directions could not make any adjustments to their position on the road and still be in one piece, and the driver still moved the vehicle to the right at all stop signs, even when planning to continue straight ***my bad*** Hope this makes sense,
  • Why am I making the driver turn so many corners.. Driving straight is pretty easy, but will not go on busy street for a while. Partly so that the driver is able to turn off of the street with skill and confidence and, most importantly – safely

Continuing Straight : narrow street

003

Continuing Straight: Vehicle Position for a wider road

003B

Rain Driving

Hours 5.5-7.5, Oct 12

This was my first time driving in the rain, so I learned how to turn on the windshield wipers and how to adjust their settings.

We went on a lot more intersections with traffic lights, and some things that surprised me were:

  • Traffic light intersections have sensors that turn on the green light for cars that they sense are waiting to cross. One way to tell whether or not a green light is stale or fresh is to see there are a lot of cars on the street perpendicular to yours waiting at a red light.
  • The best way to tell whether or not a green light is stale or fresh is by looking at the pedestrian crosswalk light that is on, if there is one. If the pedestrian light is still a walking character, the green light is fresh. If the light is counting down numbers, you should get ready because your green light may turn yellow soon.
  • There is a “point of no return” for yellow lights. If a green light turns yellow whilst you are already close to entering the intersection (depending on your speed), you might have to keep going. If you try to stop, you will only be able to stop far past the white line. You could also risk being rear-ended.

What I learned:

  • You can pull over to let cars that seem unsafe/impatient go past.
  • When it’s raining, slow down sooner for a stop.
  • Stay well behind trucks so that you can still see around them.
  • When waiting behind a car at an intersection, pull up behind them until you can  see the bottom of their tires touching the pavement.

I practiced parking closer to the curb after pulling over:

  • inch the car to the right
  • inch to the left to straighten the car out
  • repeat until you are 30 cm (about 1 foot) away from the curb.

Building on yesterday, another way to start when stopped up a hill is to:

  • after stopping normally with your right foot on the brake, shuffle your feet so your left foot replaces your right one on the brake
  • whilst keeping your left foot pressing on the brake, press the gas pedal a bit with your right foot
  • whilst holding onto the gas with your right foot, let go of the brake
  • this technique is safer than simply switching your right foot from the brake to the gas when it’s raining. When your car begins rolling backwards, if you press on the gas too much, your tires might spin quickly, But if you forget and your tires do start to spin, just ease off the gas.

We also talked more about shoulder checking:

  • If the road is wide and you want to turn right, shoulder-check before moving your car towards the right side of the road.
    • If you don’t have a stop sign, scan the intersection and turn right.
    • If you do have a stop sign, you will have to do a second shoulder-check just before turning because hazards may appear while you are stopped and checking elsewhere.

I have some trouble with shoulder-checks because I look out the back window, but I don’t think about what I’m seeing there. I’m just going through the motion but not being aware of what I’m looking at. So I will try to work on that next time.

I also need to work on ignoring people who are honking impatiently.

We looked at some of the buttons and lights on the car, such as the various types of air conditioning and the symbols that may appear whilst you’re driving telling you that there’s something wrong with the battery or engine. I also learned about the uses of the different gear shifts.

Before getting into your car, you should do a pre-trip check:

  • Walk around the car to check that the tires aren’t flat and that there are no hazards in the blind spots immediately in front of and behind your car.
  • You should start at the driver’s side back tires and walk around counter-clockwise until you finish at the front of the car (if the car is parked on the right side of a street)
  • Then make eye contact with any vehicles that may be approaching from behind your car so that they know you want to open your door and get inside your car. You may have to wait if there isn’t room to open the door.

I also did a U-turn in a misty area which made it feel like it was Halloween already.

We discussed traffic circles, too:

  • Enter a traffic circle from the right, even if you’re turning left. Some large trucks may turn directly left because they can’t fit in the traffic circle.
  • If you are turning left but there’s a traffic circle in your way, signal left but enter from the right.

Some things I tried to keep in mind were:

  • Watch for signs, like a playground one which is in effect from dawn till dusk. The schoolzone signs are only in effect during schooldays, 8am-5pm.
  • Look far ahead. I had trouble doing so when going fast, but using your peripheral vision to scan the area closer to you helps.
  • Check your rearview mirror often (every 5-10 seconds.)
  • Slow down before speed bumps.

Wow I guess we did a lot today. As terrified as I am of the dangers of driving, as things get a bit easier, driving does get fun!

Instructor’s notes: I’m a bit speechless today. I think this is going very well.  

Hours 7.5 – 9.25, Oct 22 (5:45 pm – 7:30 pm)

Location: North Vancouver

Today we continued on with the basic intersections with 2 and 4 way stops, some traffic circles, and some driving in traffic. 

Alex says:

I had so much fun today! We went driving before dusk when it was still light and into the evening when it got darker. It’s starting to get dark earlier, and that makes visibility worse, but I hope I’ll get used to it.

We put an additional L sign on the front hood along with the one at the back of the car. A second L sign definitely helps pedestrians and cars facing you at intersections know you’re still learning. Despite this I still got honked at twice.

I’ve been honked at as well over the years. Sometimes it was when I was a new driver and there was a good reason, like I was staring into space at the red light rather than watching for the light to change to green. Other times, it was when I had my full license and then even times when I had my instructor’s license and wasn’t doing anything wrong at all other than driving safely or properly. When people honk in some cases, it just means they are feeling very impatient and unkind, and would like to attract attention to themselves in order to let everyone else around them know about it. There are times when the horn could be used for some positive outcome; to prevent a collision or to warn others of a danger. But honking at someone who is learning how to drive is not one of them. Good thing, you can decide whether or not you want to acknowledge the honking. And no matter how badly the person doing the honking would like to control you, it is only you that can control your vehicle and decide to control your vehicle in a safe manner (or whatever manner you choose). 

Stuff I learned:

  • Start the car by:
    • Twisting the key away from you (Make sure you stop turning and let it go after the engine has started so you are not hard on the starter) 
    • Shifting the gear to Drive
    • Pulling down the parking brake
  • Turn off the car by doing the reverse:
    • Pulling up the parking brake
    • Shifting the gear to Park
    • Twisting the key towards you

Following Distance

  • How to count how far away the car in front of you is from you: (When the cars are moving – This is known as your following distance, and if trying to measure the seconds, it works well once you have established some space between you and the vehicle in front of you, and are travelling at approximately the same speed) 
    • Start counting seconds once the car in front of you passes a specific point (for example, a sign). Don’t pick a moving point, such as a horse-drawn carriage. 
    • Once you reach that point, stop counting.
    • The total number of seconds you counted is the distance in seconds you are from the car in front of you.
  • It’s best to stay at least 3 seconds behind the car in front of you, although most books say 2. Allow even more seconds in poor conditions. This is a general guideline for good conditions and speeds of 50 km/hr or less. When conditions are poor, or speeds are higher, we need more seconds still. This space is very important to ensure we do not run into the vehicle in front or be rear-ended by the vehicle behind in the case the one in front has to stop suddenly or in the event of an emergency. In addition your visibility is improved with additional space compared to following too closely. 
  • Just because the light is green, doesn’t mean it’s safe to go. Green means go, IF it is safe, AFTER you have checked it is safe. 
    • When stopped at a red light, if the light turns green, you should scan the intersection before going. (From left to right; or more specifically left, centre, right, and left again, as any car on your left is the first or closest danger to you). 
  • If there is a car in front of you at a red light and the light turns green, let the car in front go (for a bit) and get 3 seconds ahead of you before you go. Sometimes the car in front stops again.
  • Car in Front Turning Left / Stopping again (with an added distraction)

Stopping

    • Before stopping/slowing down, you should check the rearview mirror to make sure you won’t get rear-ended by the car behind you. Just try to judge the speed of the vehicle and make sure the driver is at least planning to slow down as well. 
      • If you can see the entire car behind you in your rearview mirror, the car isn’t too close to you.
      • If you can’t see the car’s headlights, the car is very close to you.
    • It’s ok to stop with a jerk if it’s an emergency. Just check that you won’t get rear-ended.
    • Slow down on super steep hills because of visibility. You should be able to completely stop the vehicle in the distance that you can see, in case of the unexpected. 
    • I also changed lanes for the first time (out of necessity)! How to change to the right lane (out of necessity) when traveling on a road with traffic:
      • Turn on your right signal. If there’s a lot of traffic and you don’t turn on your signal, then how will the other drivers know that you want to move over? If they don’t know, then they can’t help. 
      • Check your right mirror to see if the car behind you in the right lane is letting you change lanes.
      • Shoulder-check.
      • Turn into the right lane.
      • We will do a proper lane changing lesson in the near future* This one worked well, but there are more details to be discussed.  
    • If you see that the light (or many lights coming up) at the intersection ahead of you is red, you can slow down. (Or at least, don’t speed up anymore). This way, you have a smoother stop or to avoid stopping entirely if the light turns green by the time you get to the intersection. This can save on a lot of car parts including gas, tires, and other components, as well as minimizing the risk of being rear ended, as it is a little more difficult to be rear-ended if you never stop moving. 

Some sign review:

  • If there is a white (white and black) sign saying the speed limit is 40, you will usually see another one following it that will tell you when the limit changes. If you don’t see anymore signs, then it’s still 40. 
  • However, if it’s a yellow playground speed limit sign, you should keep in mind to check for the back of the next yellow playground sign that will tell you when the speed limit is back at 50. It is facing the traffic coming in the opposite direction. You can also look for this second one in your rearview mirror.

Stuff we practiced:

  • Parking beside the curb.
  • Checking every crosswalk for pedestrians (Scan well ahead before you get there) 
  • Another way to inch closer to the curb after you have pulled over and are too far away is:
    • Shift gears to Reverse. (Look all around the vehicle doing a 360 degree check before going backwards) 
    • You want your back wheels to go right so that they are closer to the curb, so turn the wheel right. until you see in the right mirror that the car looks closer to the curb, Then turn the wheel to the left the same amount that you turned it right and let the car move until the car is straight). If you only go backwards and turn right, your car will not be straight, and the rear tires will eventually hit the curb if you keep going. 
    • Shift gears to Drive.
    • Turn the wheel right to line up the car alongside the curb.
  • It is hard for me to tell how close the wheels are to the curb, but I hope I will get better at that with practice.

We reviewed the point of no return.

Point of no return: The point when you decide to continue driving through an intersection when the traffic light goes yellow, because stopping or attempting to stop the vehicle before the white stopping line would not be safe (depending on the vehicle behind you) or possible (depending on your speed or the road conditions).  

Legally, when approaching the intersection, we must stop the vehicle behind the white stopping line when the light changes to yellow, unless we can not stop safely in time. 

There is no specific measure of point of no return because it depends on:

  • your speed
  • the slipperiness of the road (for example, rain increases the road’s slipperiness)
  • if it is safe to stop or if you will get rear-ended because the car (or large truck, or any other vehicle) behind you is too close to you

Blind spots

The instructor also walked around the car several times while I stayed in the driver’s seat to show me where the blind spots are because I was confused as to where I should be looking when I shoulder check.

  • The right shoulder check is pretty straightforward – just outside the back right window.
  • For the left, I have to look out the front left window and back left window just because of the way the car’s made.
  • It depends on the car, so it’s good to check where the blind spots are to know where you have to look.

I need to work on:

  • my turns
    • not turning too narrow
    • finishing the steering completely
  • shoulder-checking
    • I have trouble shoulder-checking quickly

Shoes

The type of shoe you’re wearing really makes a difference! I changed from thick boots into flats and it became easier to feel the brake and thus stop smoothly. Your stopping is very smooth and professional. A+ 

Fresh or Stale Traffic Lights

Fresh green traffic light: A green traffic light that you are 100% certain will stay green as you are approaching the intersection. 

Stale green traffic light: A green traffic light that’s been in the fridge for a while and should probably go to the compost. A green traffic light that you are expecting might change to yellow as you are approaching the intersection.  

We also practicing determining if a green light is stale or not:

  • If the green light is blinking, it means that the light is green 24/7 unless a pedestrian wants to cross the intersection. (pedestrian-controlled) 
    • For some intersections, the blinking green light will go to a solid green light before turning yellow if a pedestrian wants to cross
    • Scan all intersections with the flashing green light anyway. Pedestrians are required to wait for the flashing light to change so that they can proceed, however, it is good to check anyway because sometimes pedestrians run across unexpectedly, sometimes when trying to catch a city bus for example.  
  • If you didn’t see the light change to green (and even if you did see it change to green in some cases), assume stale until proven guilty (I mean not stale )
    • It is better to be prepared rather than surprised and caught off-guard 
    • Stale until proven fresh~  
    • Stale until proven innocent~  
    • If you don’t see the “walk” sign for the pedestrian, assume it is stale, as there are sensors at intersections; so even though a light just went green, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to stay green  
  • look to see if there are pedestrians wanting to cross (who may have pressed the button to cross) 
  • look to see if there is a lineup of cars on the road perpendicular to yours at the intersection (On the traffic sensor) 

Traffic Sensors

To remember:

  • Walk around the car before starting the car as a pre-trip check. Do this every time before you drive away. You want to at least check that your 4 tires are OK and there are no obstacles in the blind zone directly in front or behind the vehicle (whichever way the vehicle will be travelling). 
  • Turn on the car’s lights before moving.
  • Turn off the car’s light after parking.
  • Turn on the night headlights once dusk begins [Is it when it’s dusk or darker?]
  • Technically you must turn on your vehicle’s lights between 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise.
  • Things that surprised me:
  • Some cars have side mirrors that you can flip in after parking. This helps your mirrors not get broken by cars that may pass too closely to your parked car.

Driving is getting less terrifying for me. As long as you stay aware of hazards and drive on the defensive but still with confidence, you will be fine.

You are doing fantastic  So reflective too! 

Hours 9.25 – 10.75,

October 27, 2015

Teaching/Practicing Focus: 

  • Driving in traffic, increased speed to 50 km/hr 
  • Doing a few lane changes (not necessarily within traffic)
  • Anticipating the traffic light — will it change to yellow as we arrive to the intersection or not? How to tell. 
  • Following distances between us and the car in front
  • Space between us and car in front when stopped 
  • Scanning intersections beforehand 
  • Eye habits: keeping eyes moving, looking far ahead, checking mirrors quickly and regularly 

Teaching Do’s and Don’t’s: 

DO:

  • Build on skills the driver has already learned / practiced 
  • Add a bit more new information 
  • Keep practicing the same things we’ve already done (basic intersections, stop signs, starting, stopping, turning) 
  • Be encouraging
  • Have fun 
  • Take a break after a while 
  • Park/Stop the car to discuss or answer questions. Do not try to answer complicated questions while driving, as you will not be able to discuss the current moment simultaneously.  

Don’t: 

  • Expect the driver to be perfect 
  • Have the driver on a busy street if they do not know how to turn a corner to get off the road confidently, unless you are planning to pull over instead of turn. 
  • Expect the driver to do something you haven’t taught them how to do. For example to get onto the ‘busy street’ note that we did not have to turn. We did turn right once to get onto 41st Avenue. Avoid turning left at traffic lights until you have taught this. Right turns are generally less dangerous and more forgiving of errors.  
  • Have the driver drive faster than they feel comfortable with. 

For no particular reason, we drove in beautiful Vancouver today. 

Alex Says:

I had a much harder time today because we went on multi-lane roads for a long time. Also, it’s hard to see intersections and scan far ahead of time when it’s super dark.

*Things that you might think would be easy for a new driver might not actually be. Driving in a straight line would seem to be easy, but driving on a busier street with traffic that is going at faster speeds can be more nerve racking for both driver and co-pilot. Young people have fast reaction times, but they may not know how to make the correct reaction. Things that also made this difficult were: 1) The dark road was 100% unfamiliar to the driver. 2) The situation was also new to the driver (driving in busier traffic and doing lane changes within traffic or on this type of road). 

I need to work on:

  • lane changing
  • giving the cars in the lanes beside me enough space and not moving into their lanes accidentally.
    • you can prevent moving side to side by looking far ahead.
    • also, you have to keep your eyes moving. New drivers can tend to look in a mirror – or some other place other than the place they are going – for too long (too long in my personal opinion means more than 1 or 2 seconds), resulting in the vehicle deviating from the intended path. 
  • remembering to turn on/off the car lights
  • mirror-checking faster (about 1 second)

I am having trouble remembering to look for road signs, but I hear this is normal for beginners.

You can’t be perfect right away. That is why you are driving with a supervisor/co-pilot. Their job is to help you and warn you about things you may not know to look for, because you’ve never done this before. This is a normal part of learning. After a while, before your road test and before driving alone, you should be at the point where you don’t need anyone sitting beside you; you can confidently handle any situation on your own safely and properly. But for now, just do your best and try to have a little fun. 

How to lane change:

  • Check in your rear-view and side mirror to see if there’s enough space to lane change. The minimum distance is,  you are able to see the front tires touching the pavement in your rear-view mirror of the car in the lane into which you want to move into. So generally speaking, the space of about 5 cars could fit in between the two of you.
  • You need this space so you don’t cut-off the other driver, robbing him of his space following distance between his car and yours; also in case you change lanes and then suddenly stop for some reason, he still has enough time to also stop. 
  • If there’s not enough space, you can signal so that a car could make room for you to lane change, (and wait and see if they respond) or you can wait until there is more space if you have time.
  • If there is enough space, shoulder check.
  • Gradually steer into the lane beside you. You hardly need any steering for a lane change. Less is more. 
  • Check rear-view mirror again after moving. See what’s going on back there. 

Note about lane changing:

Only lane change if there is a dashed white line separating your lane and the lane into which you want to move. Before intersections/crosswalks, there is often a solid white line between lanes, telling you not to change lanes.

  • It’s illegal to change over a solid white line.
  • Solid white lines are found near crosswalks and intersections to limit lane changing near them, thus limiting unpredictable maneuvers and avoiding potential vision-blocking that could lead to incidents’.  

I learned more about the steps to take to park the car:

  • Once stopped, pull up the parking brake.
    • The job of the parking brake is to hold the car in place when parked, especially on hills; can also be used as an emergency brake should the regular brakes fail. 
  • Shift gears into neutral.
  • Ease your foot off the break pedal to test if the parking brake works. (Make sure to check around the vehicle in case it does start moving).
    • If the car starts moving, it means that the parking brake is either broken/malfunctioning or not up far enough.
    • This check is a good habit to develop to every time you park and is especially important on hills.
    • If you don’t check and make sure the parking brake is actually holding the car in place when parked (especially on hills) then what is the point in using  it? 
  • If the parking brake is holding the vehicle in place, shift gears into Park.
    • Yes, “Park” will normally hold in the car in place on its own; but could malfunction and the vehicle could potentially roll away if parked on a hill without the parking brake on. Therefore, when parking on hills – and we will get to that eventually – firstly turn your wheels the correct way to avoid dry steering, then check the parking brake function while in neutral, and then park the car into “park.” That way, your car will be kept in place firstly by the actual brake cable meant for this type of job, rather than a mere (secondly) position on the transmission, and thirdly by the position of the wheels should it actually attempt to”roll away.”
  • Turn off the car and the lights if you had to turn lights on.

I also learned:

At a red light, if there are train tracks before you and the car stopped in front of you, wait before the train tracks.

  • Look far ahead to anticipate the car in front of you stopping; you can predict this if you see any reason why it might stop: a pedestrian, a red light, or backed up traffic for example. 
  • Before you go, scan the train tracks to make sure it is safe to go anyway, no matter how it seems to be controlled. 

The different types of lights of the car:

  1. car lights that go on automatically when the car is running  (daytime running lights – DRL) (These do not normally turn on your tail lights, so they’re Okay for a day that is still fairly bright, but during dark or rainy days you might want to turn on your full regular headlights or rear lights so vehicles behind you can clearly see you). 
  2. small side lights on the front and parking/rear tail lights
  3. nighttime running lights (normal head lights)
  4. high-beams (Do not use high beams if there are cars in front of you, going either direction; technically speaking if any vehicle in front of you is within 150 meters of you. Not sure how you’re supposed to measure that while driving, so just don’t blind people, okay?) 

I practiced:

  • counting seconds to gauge the distance between me and the car in front of me
  • checking my speed to make sure I wasn’t speeding accidentally

It was a difficult road, but I’m always up for a challenge! And I didn’t even realize we had driven so far.

Nicely done. 

Hours 10.75 – 12.75, Nov 7

Alex is doing great:

It was raining so much today! At least that’s good practice because it rains all the time here. It is harder to see out of mirrors/windows during the rain though, so in low visibility you may have to do double mirror/shoulder checks. I really want to put RAIN-X all over my windows and mirrors. I think it would help.  

We practiced:

  • turns
  • 2-way and 4-way stops
  • traffic lights

Gravity

We went to a really hilly and curvy area, which was exciting. At one point, I slowed down to less than 20 downhill to turn, but when I turned the hill made the car speed up, so that’s one thing to watch out for.

I learned:

Brake Lights

  1. When you press on the brakes, three red lights (Should) turn on on the rear of your car. This lets others know you’re slowing down. Check your lights from time to time. 

Blind Spots

2. When moving on multi-lane roads, try not to stay in the blind spot of other vehicles for too long. Ideally, have your car be in between the vehicles in the lane beside you, in front and behind you a good ways away.

  • This way, you are out of the blind spot of the vehicle in front of you.
  • Also, the vehicle behind you won’t be in your blind spot.
  • Yes, people are supposed to do shoulder checks before lane changes. But it’s simply safer and easier if we don’t hang out in each other’s blind spots. Yes we have to pass through that area all the time, and in heavy traffic we might not be able to do this (however if you’re in heavy traffic there will probably be a general understanding that there are cars everywhere) but we don’t want to stay in that area going the same speeds for a while. If someone forgets their shoulder check and simply looks in the mirror, you don’t exist. 

However, if traffic is really tight, it’s better to be beside the vehicle in the lane next to you rather than just behind it because being just behind it puts you in their blind spot. If you’re beside another car, the driver can usually see you in their peripheral vision. 

Roundabouts

  1. When in a roundabout, you can signal to the right to let other cars know when you’re about to exit the roundabout [Q: is this good to do when in traffic circles, too? or just for larger roundabouts?]
  • For traffic circles, just use your signal as you would if there were no circle — if going straight, don’t signal, for right, signal right, and for left, signal left beforehand. These are much smaller, so if you wait to signal right till before you leave, you might confuse others, and there is so little time and space, that by the time someone sees that signal, you’ll be 1/2 block up the road and it will be obvious where you were going. 

Reversing

4. How to turn into a driveway/alley in reverse.

*We first practiced in a parking lot and then on the road into an alley.

When in reverse:

  • to turn right backwards, turn the wheel to the right
  • to turn left backwards, turn the wheel to the left

To back into a driveway/alley on the right:

  1. check that the driveway/alley is clear
  2. pull over to the right [Q: do you still pull over to the right even if you’re turning into a driveway/alley on the left?] Good question. Not necessarily. We will have to talk about that. 
  3. make sure your wheel is straightened at 0 degrees
  4. shift gears into reverse

Reversing Lights

*this turns on white lights on the rear of your car, letting others know you’re in reverse

  1. do a 360 degree check, starting with the back left window
  2. signal right (I think we forgot the turn signal here. We should actually signal before #1 that we check the ally is clear, upon approach, to warn others before we slow down). 
  3. begin to inch backwards
  4. turn the wheel right as much as it can go, about 400 degrees or more, depending on the car. so about one full circle and a bit more.

*hold the wheel just before the maximum amount the wheel can turn. pushing the wheel to its maximum can damage the car.

  1. meanwhile, alternate between looking out the back window and the front window. you’re looking periodically out of the front window to know when your car is straight
  2. once your car is straight, turn your wheel left until it is straight at 0 degrees, while still moving and looking out the back window.
  3. once the wheel is straight, hold the topmost of the steering wheel with your left hand and go backwards more if you need to, in a straight line, looking out the back window.

To back to the left :

  1. make sure your wheel is straightened at 0 degrees
  2. go into reverse
  3. do a 360 degree check, starting with the back right window
  4. signal left (if you’re actually parking you would signal before all of this) 
  5. begin to inch backwards
  6. turn the wheel left as much as it can go, about 400 degrees or more, depending on the car. so about one full circle and a bit more.
  7. meanwhile, alternate between looking out the back left window (like a left shoulder-check) and the front window. you’re looking periodically out of the front window to know when your car is straight
  8. once your car is straight, turn your wheel right until it is straight at 0 degrees, while still moving and looking out the back window.
  9. once the wheel is straight, hold the topmost of the steering wheel with your left hand and go backwards more if you need to, in a straight line, looking out the back window.
  10. ** Try to turn the steering wheel when the car is moving, not when it is stopped – avoiding dry steering 

To work on:

1. For some reason, I’m still having trouble not going over the lines separating traffic lanes.

2. At one point, we were waiting at a two-way stop to turn left, and it took a long time for the busy main road to clear. In the future, if you are at a two-way stop waiting to turn left and the main road you’re waiting for is really busy, you can:

  1. turn right onto the main road
  2. turn left three times on quieter streets
  3. turn right onto the main road

OR

If you know ahead of time that the main road you want to turn left onto is really busy and that there’s a two-way stop ahead, and if you know that there is a four-way stop on the street to the right of the one you’re on, you can:

  1. turn right onto the street before the main road
  2. turn left
  3. turn left at a four-way stop onto the main road. Four-way stops can be faster to turn on than two-way stops are. (In a 4-way stop, you always get to take your turn, no matter which direction you plan to go. At a 2-way stop, you generally can only take your turn after all of the other cross-traffic has cleared the intersection, so the amount of time you might wait at a 2-way can be potentially much longer in “rush hour”) 

Driving Hours 12.75 – 14.75

November 14

I learned:

It’s good to scan intersections with traffic lights by turning your head rather than just scanning with your eyes. Although I do need to practice scanning intersections well ahead of time. (You can see more if you turn your head rather than just using your peripheral vision. If you don’t turn your head and take a really good look, you’re kind of  assuming that it is safe to go when it might not actually be.) 

When you are waiting at an intersection at a red light, you can take the time to check your dashboard to see how your vehicle is doing. (Fuel, temperature gauges, etc.) 

Dashboard Blinking Lights

Turn Signals in Turn Lanes

Even if you are in a left-turn lane (and right-turn lanes), you should still use the turn signal because pedestrians (and any other road users) may not know where you are planning to go.

Driving in Right Lane, Left Lane

In a double-lane road, the right lane is generally safer than the left because it is farther away from oncoming traffic (it usually hurts less to have a problem with a car to your right and/or one that is travelling in the same direction as you vs. an oncoming car; if you had to pick one.) Also, the right lane may be more efficient because vehicles ahead of you won’t take up a lot of time turning left.

Sometimes the right lane is just as slow as you might have to wait for cars to turn right. Cars turning right may stop to wait for pedestrians before proceeding. 

Other possible things you might have to deal with driving in the right lane are pedestrians, people walking around next to their cars, bicycles, car doors opening, and busses, possible double-parked vehicles or cars stopping to parallel park. 

The left lane can be considered not as safe because a crash with an oncoming vehicle is one of the worse types of crashes.

Do not block intersections

Reminder not to stop on intersections. If there is a lot of slow-moving traffic in front of you when you are at an intersection, wait (i.e. stop before the intersection) until you know you’ll have enough space to stop out of the intersection (or crosswalk) before following the vehicle in front of you. This is yet one more reason not to follow the car in front too closely. It leaves you time to see the cars ahead stopping while still having time to stop before blocking the intersection. 

I practiced:

  • Positioning the car in between vehicles in the lanes beside me so as to stay out of their blind spots and keep them out of my blind spot
  • Lane changing
  • Stop signs
  • Traffic lights
  • Looking as far ahead as possible

Alex did 8 lane changes today

Curves

As well, we went on a sidewinding road. You don’t need a lot of steering when maneuvering down this kind of road. For instance, when the road is winding to the right:

  • Ahead of time, move your right hand up to between the “1” or “2” position.
  • As you go through the curve, pull down the wheel with your right hand.

This technique allows you to have more control over the car than pushing the wheel up does.

Warning Signs

curve

There will sometimes be signs before the curves in the road, advising you to slow down before the curve. If you’re going to slow down, you should do so before you get to the curve so that you avoid having to brake while steering. Avoiding braking and steering at the same time is a general recommended practice for good control over the vehicle. This is especially important with increased speeds and on less than ideal road surfaces (i.e. wet or slippery). 

How to stay safe while driving on curvy roads.Opens in a new tab.

Techniques: Curves And CornersOpens in a new tab.

If there is no warning sign, it means you can probably go through the curve without slowing down before it as long as conditions are ideal.

Uncontrolled Intersections  ~ Children on the road

Watch for uncontrolled intersections. These are rare and generally found in quiet areas; however it is good to exercise caution and be prepared to yield, especially when visibility is poor.

Areas with uncontrolled intersections may have less traffic, but possibly more children/pedestrians.

Vehicle exiting driveway

Although a vehicle exiting a driveway (especially in a backwards fashion) is legally required to yield to other road users, you could decide to stop and allow him to do so, providing it is safe to stop. Clearly this is a difficult place to him to reverse.

There is nothing wrong with loving thy neighbour.

Driving Hours 14.75 – 16.75, Nov 15

We practiced:

  • Sidewinding roads (Curves)
  • Lane changes
  • Uncontrolled intersections
  • Determining whether a green light was stale/fresh
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The sun was so bright that at times I could barely see the road! It is good to practice in different conditions, though.

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Emergency vehicles

We practiced the correct action to take when an emergency vehicle is approaching from behind with lights and sirens: Pull over to the right and stop completely. If you are unable to pull over to the right (or closest curb in some cases i.e. one way street), then just stop where you are; or, do whatever you have to do to get out of the way as quickly as possible, and then stop.

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I turned left at a traffic circle for the first time. To do so, signal left and enter the traffic circle from the right. *Look far ahead to where you want to go.

We went on a road where the speed limit is 60 km/h. Also, we went through construction site where the limit is 30 km/h.

Traffic light Arrows

I learned more about traffic lights:

  • If there is a green arrow in a traffic light, you must go in the direction of that arrow.
  • If there is a green arrow AND a steady green light, you may either go straight or turn in the direction of the arrow (depending also on what lane you are in and in accordance with the lane control signs).
  • Below, we must go straight aka follow the road, AKA Do NOT turn right or left at this intersection (kind of obvious in this case anyway)
straightarrow

How to turn around by using a driveway or lane way

*We borrowed a few driveways, even though these are private property. It may be better to use lane ways if they are available. Do not use intersections to turn around as it’s illegal to reverse into an intersection due to safety/visibility reasons.

To enter a driveway on the right:

  • Pull over to the right.
  • Enter backwards into the driveway. It’s best to reverse into it because you’re only using one lane of traffic/ one half of the road when reversing.

To enter a driveway on the left:

  • Enter forwards into the driveway. If you entered in reverse, you would be reversing across both lanes of traffic / the entire roadway.
  • To make it easier to exit the driveway, park your car at an angle. Before entering the driveway, roll a bit further ahead than usual so that when you enter, you can stay to the right and turn the wheel all the way to the left and park at a sharp angle inside the driveway.

This way, when you reverse to the right to get out of the driveway, your car will end up close to the curb. Whereas if you had parked your car straight, you would potentially reverse into the middle of the road, blocking traffic.

Driving Hours 16.75 – 18.75, Nov 22

Alex Says:

We went on the highway and a bridge! Going near 80 km/hr wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be.

We practiced:

  • Turns
  • Stop signs
  • Lane changes
  • Scanning intersections left, (center), right, then left again

I learned:

  • When you’re stopped at a light and waiting to turn right, you can take the time check your right side mirror for potential upcoming pedestrians/bikers.
  • If you see pedestrians wanting to cross the road, slow down well ahead of time so that they know you’re letting them through.
  • Only use the technique of pulling down the steering wheel with one hand for extremely winding roads. If the road is just slightly curvy, you can keep your hands at 9 and 3
  • If you accidentally go over the speed limit a bit, you can slow down by just taking your foot off of the gas pedal rather than by pressing on the brakes. (If you press the brakes, you might go too slowly).

I need to work on:

  • Not going over the lines that divide lanes
    • I especially struggle with this when going fast on winding roads.
  • Staying in the same lane before and after turning
    • For example, if you were in rightmost lane before you turned, turn into the rightmost lane after.
  • Looking far ahead and between the ground and the sky
  • Remembering to look for road signs
  • Turning left
    • To avoid cutting the corner on left turns, go forward ⅓ of the way into the intersection, then turn.
  • Checking the rearview mirror every 5-10 seconds, especially on highways

Gradually building up the speed

Gradually introducing roads that are slightly higher in speed compared to the previous ones the new driver has experienced might be a good way to work towards having them drive on the freeway without having to go straight to 90 km/hr after only being used to driving at 50 km/hr.

60 km/hr

Try some roads where the speed limit is 60 km/hr: Parts of Mount Seymour Parkway in North Vancouver, Parts of Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, Parts of Fraser Highway in Surrey, Parts of Burnaby Mountain Parkway, Stanley Park Causeway, etc.

70 km/hr

Parts of BC #1, Iron Worker’s Bridge,

80 km/hr

BC Highway #10 in Surrey, BC Highway #17 (South Fraser Perimeter Road), Parts of Barnet Highway, Parts of Marine Drive near UBC,

Sampling the Freeway

If you’re feeling nervous about entering the freeway for the first time, you could try entering at a place where the pressure of merging is absent, allowing you to get a feel for the speed and environment alone, first. This removes the multitasking as well as the lane changing skills that will be necessary to merge onto the freeway properly, but could build confidence if both co-pilot and new driver are feeling nervous about the speed. Once you feel comfortable with the speed, add the merging.

Some spots where you don’t actually “have to” merge:

  • McGill Street entrance to BC #1 Westbound before Iron Workers’ Bridge
  • BC Highway #1 Westbound between Lonsdale & Westview

Of course it is recommended to be somewhat confident with lane changing before moving on to the freeway, as merging onto the freeway and lane changing are exactly the same thing; one is just done at generally a higher speed than the other and comes with more pressure of a limited amount of space. (no biggie)

Recap

So far  the focus has been and the driver is doing well at:

  • Basic turns in basic intersections, 2 way stops, 4 way stops, uncontrolled intersections
  • Basic backing, straight, right, left, turning around by using a driveway/lane way
  • Driving in traffic, determining if traffic light is fresh or stale
  • Point of no return
  • Intersection Scans
  • Traffic Circles
  • Stopping distance, following distance
  • Mirror checking
  • Pulling over (mirror, signal & shoulder check)
  • Pulling into traffic (mirror, signal, & shoulder check)
  • Lane Changing
  • Curves
  • Driving on hills

We need to work on :

  • Left turns: The right turns are beautiful, the left turns are beautiful at times, other times, the corner is being cut
    • As soon as this can be corrected, we can move on to new and exciting adventures. I think the time is right to do so
  • Co-pilot has not done an official assessment of basic skills; this is probably a good time
  • The driver is sometimes forgetting to look far ahead and to keep eyes moving, at times. But she is aware of the issue
  • We need to drive for an extra 15 minutes as I would really love to have nice round whole numbers, lol
  • Remembering that this is a process. No one woke up one day and knew how to drive, it’s a process. You don’t have to be perfect. Just aim to be safe (and legal).

What we will do next:

  • Turning left at traffic light controlled intersections
  • Merging onto the freeway
  • Parallel Parking
    • *Not necessarily in that order

 

Carmen

Carmen became a driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, Canada and is an experienced writer, blogger, photographer, artist, philosopher, certified day dreamer and generally complicated human.

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