Come on; get lost!
We all take trips throughout our lives that force up to figure out how to get there. It can be pretty simple to get from point A to point B if it was the same route every day. However, every now and then we have to travel to places we’ve never been to before. How do you make the proper choices without getting lost and without endangering you, your passengers and the other road users?
I was recently invited to a wedding of a friend’s daughter. The wedding was out of town to an area I’ve never been to before. I did the simple thing; I checked out the directions with two different sources and printed off the map and written directions. I made sure the route was easy to follow, especially since it was in foreign territory.
The driver in this photo wasn’t so lucky. They had to pull onto the shoulder to figure out which route to take. How dangerous was that? Once they decided which direction to go, they would have to accelerate quickly from a stopped position. This can be somewhat scary for the drivers behind them as well. When someone accelerates quickly from the shoulder onto the roadway, they can be unpredictable as to which lane they would be taking.
There are a few easy solutions to avoid having to do what this driver did. After having the route planned in advance, either with a map, written directions or perhaps a GPS, give the information to the passenger. Having a “navigator” will make your job easier. Ensure they give you the directions in advance of your exit, lane change requirement or turn. It will help you be in the proper lane well in advance. The passenger I had while going to the wedding gave me early instructions. Having your navigator say “You needed to turn back there’ doesn’t ease the tension you may have to find your new location.
If you’re alone, keep your written directions as simple as possible. When writing them down, use abbreviations so they can easily be read by a glance. There’s no time to take your eyes off the road for more than a second or two while driving. In heaving traffic, I don’t even want to do that! When you’re using written instructions, write down the turn or exit that’s just before your turn or exit. This way, once you pass that turn or exit, you’ll know yours is coming up. Oh, and make sure you write BIG. That makes it easier to glance at while driving.
Now that you’ve got your route planned out and written down in such a way that it can be used while driving, you need to learn how to prepare yourself to use those directions. Look as far ahead as possible to give you time to see and read the road or destination signs. Once you know your next turn or exit is coming up, change lanes as early as possible so you’re prepared to stay on your route. That was probably the problem of the driver in this photo. They needed the information of where they were going, plus needed to look ahead for the large information signs so they can make early and accurate choices.
Hopefully this will make some sense to each of you. We all need to plan our routes from time to time; even if you’re used to people telling you where to go.