Since my last post, my driving skills have improved dramatically! I have spent more time with my mentor, as well as a ton of time on the road with my parents. On my most recent drive with my mentor, I was able to complete my extended goal for my final drive that I was hoping to accomplish by May! Here is a visual of the route:
I started at Gleneagle, took the Lougheed Highway across the Pitt River bridge, turned onto Golden Ears Way and crossed the Golden Ears bridge, merged onto Highway 1 (and got to 100km/h!) and took it all the way up to Highway 7, where I turned onto Gaglardi Way and made my way up the SFU hill! On the way back, I took Burnaby Mountain Parkway onto the Barney Highway, which I took back into Coquitlam and then drove myself home.
This drive involved all of the knowledge I have obtained over the course of In Depth 2018. These skills include lane positioning, speed maintenance, shoulder checks, turns, school zones, cruise control, merging on highways, high speeds, and highway and city driving mondsets. I was expecting to be much more stressed out about this drive than I actually was when it came down to the day. I trusted myself that I could manage the challenge and complete it well and safely, and I trusted my mentor, he does have an extra brake and gas pedal on his side of the car in case of emergency! My instructor simply told me where to turn and left the rest of the driving up to me, which was not only what I set out to accomplish but I also think helped me to be more confident in completing my goal.
Of course, the most important part of my ability to complete this goal was my dedicated practice. I am more than halfway to my goal of driving for 30 hours by In Depth night, and the pace at which I have been completing these hours has stepped up dramatically as I become more confident and gain more opportunities to be on the road. I have been taking every opportunity to get out on the road and use my skills, which has become much easier as I gain confidence behind the wheel. I am comfortable with driving pretty much anywhere I might need to go! Most importantly, I am comfortable with relying on myself to get everyone in the car, including myself, to their destination safely.
In Depth Night Plans
It took me quite some time to settle on a medium to present my learning process over the past few months. I had a lot of potential ideas to sort through, such as filming my progress with a dashboard camera over the course of the project and compiling a video, but after contacting ICBC I discovered that depending on the officer, driving with an L and a dashboard camera could be considered unsafe and distracted driving. While I considered the possibility of bringing my car to school for In Depth night and driving around the parking lot as a display of my skills and progress, I determined that the limited range wouldn’t allow me to demonstrate as many skills as I would like to! Instead, I have delegated the lid to a large cardboard box to be my space for depicting some of the challenges and skills I have encountered through my project using toy cars and other materials to create a visual for each scenario. I will also display some video clips taken of me while driving by my passenger (not my dash cam!), as well as discuss my goals and ambitions in relation to driving, and what I hope to do with my skills!