Sessions 22-24 focus on driving on crowded urban roadways. During these three sessions, have your teen examine the importance of scanning ahead, lane position, covering the brake, and the hazards associated with parked cars, traffic congestion, and distractions.
Decision making is the most important skill used in driving. A driver operating in city traffic flow makes 50-60 decisions per mile. Drivers need visibility, space, time, and adequate traction to perform all maneuvers in city traffic whether crossing, turning, passing, or adjusting speed and/or position. During these sessions ask your teen to focus on controlling space to the front and speed to enhance visibility, space, time, and traction.
Driving on congested roadways allows a very small margin for driver error. Effective searching skills and driver alertness are both essential. Every second counts in this driving environment.
Have your teen identify city driving hazards. Examples of city driving hazards include:
When the new driver identifies a hazard, coach the driver to cover the brake to be prepared to stop or slow suddenly. Covering the brake involves taking your foot off the accelerator and holding it over the brake pedal. Remind your teen not to rest the foot on the brake pedal. This is called riding the brake, and will both confuse other drivers and add unnecessary wear to the brakes.
Have your teen position the vehicle in the lane to provide the greatest amount of space between your vehicle and a potential hazard. Ask your teen to identify the least congested lane. On a three-lane roadway, the middle lane usually has the smoothest flow of traffic. Hazards in the right lane include stopped buses, parked cars, bicyclists, etc. Hazards in the left lane include vehicles waiting to make a left turn, vehicles crossing over the center line, etc.
The dangers of passing in city traffic include:
Distractions while driving can be deadly, especially for young drivers. Ask your teen to give examples of driving distractions. Typical driving distractions include:
In heavy traffic, coach your teen to avoid distracting activities, to search the traffic scene and not fixate on any one thing, and to focus on keeping as much space as possible around the vehicle at all times.
Checklist for Sessions 22-24
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.