The lessons I learned from highway driving
I had my G2 License back in September 2019 and since then I have not really practiced driving, well, partly also due to the lockdown. I will need to take my G test which is a qualifying exam to obtain my professional driver's license. This exam involves 30 minutes of driving in a highway.
Rob had a good idea of renting a car for our trip back to Montreal today so I can practice driving in the highway. Well after today's drive I don't know if he still thinks it is a good idea :p
Here are my realizations while I was so tensed driving for the first time in a highway :D
○ You got to focus on your own lane. Stay on your own path. The right most lane usually is for vehicles driving within the speed limit or the safer lane. As you can imagine, as a new driver, I would naturally be inclined to stay in this lane as I am just building my confidence on the road. To stay safe on the road, I have to look ahead to where I will be in the next 15 to 20 seconds. I also need to keep my 3 to 5 seconds distance from the car ahead of me (counted as 1 - 1000, 2 - 2000 and so forth). Simply put, this is called a safe distance in which I will have just enough time to react in case the car in front pulls its breaks.
Just like in my journey through life, I must focus on my own unique path. As I started moving my gaze away from my own lane, I lost control of the steering wheel and I got scared and insecure. Whereas when I stay in my safe zone, I am mostly confident in navigating my way through my destination. I would like to believe for most part of my life I focus on my own path and keep looking ahead as I advance each day closer to my goal. When I fix my eyes ahead, I can slowly but surely reach my destination.
○ Drive at your own pace. Of course from a driving perspective, you will need to drive within the speed limit so you need to adjust your own speed to match the traffic in your lane. I want to drive safely at all times. If a highway says max is 100km/hr I mostly go by the max.
I try not to get intimidated by the vehicles passing at an accelerated speed on my left. Some of them go by 30 km/hr more than the limit especially if they are in a hurry to get to their destination.
Earlier in the drive, I was following this truck on the right most lane and I was just going at 100 km/hr max. Speeding cars just kept passing me on my left while I kept my safe speed. We had to stop by a gas station to load up. We then continued driving and just about 10 minutes after, we noticed a congestion. When we drove past the police cars, we noticed a wrecked car was being towed. It looked like its front hood smashed into this truck I was following earlier. I do not know what happened there but perhaps the car must have tried to drive past the truck and lost control. I hope everyone was safe there.
I am reminded that while you get to your destination sooner when you accelerate your trip, you run the risk of ending it sooner too with one miscalculated move. While you can take inspiration from other people's story of shortcut to success, it is worth taking the pace you are most comfortable with. People may advance ahead of you, but it is important for you to get to your destination safely.
○ You are in control of the steering wheel. No matter how scary the highway can be, you are the one in control. First you must muster the courage to set the course of your journey. You are the master of your own trip in this life. There may be road blocks or all sorts of challenges along the way, but your focus and determination will get you to your destination.
Along with these life lessons, I really hope I could gain more confidence and face my fear in driving. Insert praying hands here. :)
P.S. I want to honor my Rob here for his patience and love driving me to and from Montreal. I could not have appreciated him more than today.