"Navigating the Neighborhood" Structured Practice
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Navigating the Neighborhood: You first learn how to drive a car in your neighborhood. And although you may have lived in the same place for the last 16 years you probably don't know how to negotiate the neighborhood in a car. Everything will look different from the driver’s seat. Start remembering the street names. People giving driving directions use street names. Also print-out a google or mapquest map of your neighbourhood. Learning how to drive a car also requires learning how to read a map and navigate to where you want to go. Practice planning simple trips with your parents. It may be to the grocery store or movie theatre. Find the destination on the map. Plan the route you will take to get there. Then drive the route you planned. Once you have done this a few times you should be able to draw a map from memory of where things are in your neighborhood.
Know Potential Danger Areas: Knowing the neighborhood means knowing which intersections have street lights and which have stop signs. Also memorize where the schools zones are and where the reduced speed areas are. Also remember where the cross-walks are. If a neighbor has a dog that often runs into the street be ready for it when you drive by. Take note of bus stops or firehalls. Buses can sometimes pull out in front of you. Fire engines can also startle you if you are not prepared for the possibility. Although your neighborhood streets are 30 mph or less there are several situations that you need to be aware off. Neighborhood streets are where you will find the pedestrians, cyclists small children and pets. Your responsibility as a driver is to insure the safety of others around your car. So in addition to being aware of the movements of cars around you ... you must be aware of pedestrians, cyclists, small children and pets.