Monday, August 1, 2016

Alex's First Week Of Driving


Song:  Gnossienne #1  for Alto Flute and Piano

Artists:  (Alto Flute)  Luke Pickman
(Piano)  Paolo Bertolotto





We are at home getting ready to start Alex's driving lesson.

Since last Friday...
I have been teaching Alex how to drive for about 2 hours a day.

During the weekdays...
I will soon cut it down to about 1 hour a day 
(so not to cut away study hours)...
and on the weekends...
I will be teaching him for at least 2 hours a day.

Once he gets skilled enough...
I will have him take us on multi hour journeys during the weekends.


Alex started out driving in our neighborhood.




For Alex's second lesson on the road...
I had him just drive around the neighborhood for the first hour...
and then he took us for many miles to other neighborhoods.







On the third day...
I started having him drive a certain route which gives him great experience
 in certain driving situations.

During our 1 hour drives...
we generally cover about 30 miles.

During these 30 miles...
he has to go around 16 roundabouts...
4 four way stops...
2 two way stops...
he has to park in 10 car slots...
he has to use the mountain gears for a decline...
and he has to moderate his speed according to decline or incline...
and all the while, correctly monitoring his mirrors.

I am having him complete this route over and over again for a while
so he may get maximum exposure to these common types of driving scenarios.

Every so often...
we will revisit this route to keep him refreshed on merging in a roundabout.





Part of our route is pleasant country driving.



On this route...
there is a gas station at the turnaround point.

I had Alex gas up the car...
and we then went back towards home.



We are going home here.

Today we drove for 1 hour...
and then at 10 PM...
we drove on another route for one more hour.


Every time we go driving...
Alex's mother keeps track of us on her computer.

Alex's iPhone transmits the GPS information to her computer 
so she can track us in real time.  
We show up as a moving blue dot.
(This isn't our neighborhood...
this is way down the mountain from us).

If we don't move for a while...
she will send a pulse for us to call.

If we don't answer...
she will then call 911 with our location.


At 10 PM...
 I took Alex out to practice mountain gears...
lane changes, and traffic lights.



Alex did well on this night's drive.

By next weekend...
during a late night drive...
I will have him practice highway merging
(late at night because of very little traffic...
then later we will try it in the daytime to really practice merging).


I took these photos just as we arrived back at home after our night drive.

I had bought three 'Student Driver' magnetic warning signs...
one for each side, and one for the rear.



Alex has been doing very well with his driving practice.

After tonight's drive...
I reiterated to Alex that we will have driving practice for at least one hour every night.

The key to learning anything is daily practice.

This is especially true when it comes to making physical motions second nature.


Even though the minimum number of hours a student driver must have before he gets
his license is only 50 hours (with 10 night hours)...
I am going to teach Alex for at least 10x that amount.

I will have him master the basics of each driving maneuver before I add another.

I will be ensuring Alex is comfortable in his skills before he gets his license.

The number one killer of teens in the USA is the car...
their car...or one where they were a passenger of another teen driver.

To ensure Alex never becomes part of this statistic...
Alex will be completing Shiroi's school of driving (Mine :)

By the time he gets his license...
he will certainly have over 500 hours of progressively...
 specifically, and repetitiously applied skill tasked driving...
under his belt.

I am shooting for 1,000 hours.

Before he gets his license, he will have driven in inclement weather...
on all types of road conditions...
and all for many hours on end...
and he will know how the mind and body reacts when it is fatigued...
and how to avoid dangerous situations using forethought.

Most of all...
the sheer number of hours of driving mastery practice
will make his driving intuitive.

He will then be able to anticipate situations...
and take corrective action without need for thought...
and to help prevent a panic freeze, or a situation of over correction.


Again...
with something SO IMPORTANT...
so necessary as a life skill...
it deserves nothing less than DAILY practice.

Each of the routes will stress specific skills...
and each route will be practiced until the skills become second nature.

In this manner...
I can do my part in ensuring the safety of my son...
and of his future family when Alex drives them...
and once again...
when Alex teaches his children how to drive.











4 comments:

  1. Good to hear of all the things Alex is doing in the car.

    Roundabouts; mountains; deserts.

    500-1000 hours is good to shoot for.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, I will need to give him the maximum amount of experience before he solos. This will ensure his readiness for any situation he may encounter on the road.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Glad that things are going much better now. Looks like you have a good plan and great places for Alex to practice. He will get great experience and get comfortable behind the wheel. I assume that it will be a good while before you expose Alex to driving in heavier traffic... for me, even as an experienced driver, that can often be the most difficult parts of driving.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Alex is doing so much better. Tomorrow, his mother is going to accompany us on our route so she could video the drive from the rear seat. On the next night, I am going to have him practice highway merging on an almost empty highway (10 - 11 PM). This way he can get used to accelerating the car to highway speeds to prepare for a merge. Yes, only when he gets more experience will he be on the road with more cars. Right now is for driving mechanics and basic skills. When these become second nature, he can then concentrate on the other drivers.

    ReplyDelete

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