Increasing Speeds while Learning Driving [Chronicles of Alex Driving Hours 16.75 – 18.75]

faster snail

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)


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

Dash Cam:

MIA :(



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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