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Old 08-24-2005, 01:39 AM
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commasense is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Atlanta area
Posts: 6,627
Originally Posted by gardentraveler
What has stuck with you from when you first learned to drive? What did you learn later?
I learned how to parallel park properly: Pull up next to the car in front of the space, about a foot away, until your tail is even with its tail. Turn the wheel all the way to the right (assuming parking on the right side), and back up until the middle of your car is even with the left rear corner of the car in front. Straighten the wheel and continue backing up until your nose is about a foot in front of the other car's corner. Hard left, and pull back until you're in the space. I follow this exact procedure, which I learned in 1971, every time I park, and never have any problems (unless it's a very tight space). But I've often amazed passengers who acted as though parallel parking were some dark art.

Originally Posted by gardentraveler
"Mirror, signal, mirror, headcheck." (I got a ride recently with someone who was unfamiliar with the concept of checking your blind spot before changing lanes. It was scary.)
No disrespect, but I learned to adjust the mirrors so you don't have a blind spot and don't have to do a headcheck: Put your head against the left window and adjust the left mirror so you can just see the left side of your car. Put your head at the car's centerline and do the same on the right side. When you're in the normal driving position, cars approaching from behind you will become visible in the sideview mirrors as they move out of the rearview. By the time they move out of the side view, they're along side you and visible in your peripheral vision. No blind spot.

If you can see the sides of your car in your side mirrors when you're in the normal driving position, you've created unnecessary and dangerous blind spots.

I've learned a lot since then, because my main hobby for the last six years has been High Performance Driver's Ed: basically learning race driving techniques in your street car on racetracks around the country.

I could write a book about what I've learned in HPDE, but probably the most important thing, with application on the street, is that you will go where you're looking. Hand-eye coordination works so well it's almost magical. So if you've slid off the road, DO NOT look at that tree you're afraid of hitting! Look at the space between the trees; look where you want to put the car.