Thursday, June 01, 2006

Driving in the US - Part III - Driving (Ms.)adventures Section (a)

The best part of my entire driving experience :-) But also the most difficult to capture in a structured manner, I don't know where to start!

The first time I drove, alone; with no one next to me helping out with doing over the shoulder checks and all the stuff you need to do to prevent crashing headlong or sidelonger into someone else's car, was the day I got my license. My "new" used car was already sitting in my apartment parking lot, so I just had to get in, and drive to the insurance office. I made it! Nothing terribly exciting to write about, but take my word for it that I was thrilled by my small success.

Initially, I drove very little and tentatively. I always mapped out my route in advance, including which lane I needed to be in on which road, so that my lane changing was minimized. Of course, suddenly the lane I was in turned into a right-only or left-only lane, and I would get panic attacks that subsided only after I finished the course correction exercise (which sometimes involved long and complicated detours)

I also ran a red light in the early days. The signal at the C Pkwy and P Road intersection is weird. It is green, so you gas; and then suddenly it turns yellow and red....and unfortunately the traffic on P Road got a green light, and I got honked at by a bunch of folks...thank goodness it was just 2-3 days before photo-enforcement was implemented in my city!
Since I pass by that intersection 4 times a day, now I know exactly what to do. The duration of the green signal varies depending on the time of day, traffic density, and other metrics that I just "feel intuitively"...easy enough after 8-9 hours a day of staring at a variety of metrics and numbers. So, I adjust my speed accordingly, depending on how far away I am from it. In fact, if I can see a red light from very far away, I gas, so that I am close to the light when it turns green. I must confess that my mind processes this algorithm without much strain, all thanks to ~450(5x4x4.5x5) observation points in my brain's data repository.

That's it for now. Look out for Driving Ms.Adventures Section (b)
I hope you like the layout of my blog, so organized. Regulators and auditors will love such a detailed, well structure document.

1 comment:

Harita said...

wow! you are a proud car owner! and you can drive by yourself too! and here I thought you were a nervous creature(safetywise)! well Congrats!! and do write dear!