The north lakes has lots of different types of driving that are all very important for learners to learn prior to sitting their practical driving test.
To start with lets talk about Westfield North Lakes. Learning how to negotiate car parks and dealing with other traffic in these close situations is really important for learners. I would encourage learners to start car parking with very little traffic and then as they become better at handling the car it would be good to experience car parks when the traffic is more intense.
Another important skill that learners need to learn is the highway. North Lakes has a highway very conveniently placed off Anzac Av. I would practice the entry going north from Anzac Av and follow the highway up to to Costco. Exit and do the u-turn at the roundabout and come back on and off the highway as many times as possible to get some confidence.
Doing these highway entries involve a number of skills:
- Speed: It’s really important to get the speed of the car up to match the speed of the vehicles on the highway.
- Merge: Unlike a give way situation this is not a place to stop and wait for a gap. It’s a high speed entry and we must be at an appropriate speed to merge smoothly with the cars. It’s important to indicate, mirror and shoulder check as soon as we have vision. Repeat the mirror and shoulder check to see how the merge will unfold. If we are at the same speed as the vehicles on the highway it should be easy to merge into a gap. If we are under speed the gap we first see may disappear by the time we arrive at the merge so keep looking until we are safe.
Once we are on the highway it is important to maintain a safe gap of 2 seconds in the dry and 4 seconds in the wet between ourselves and the car in front. When we exit the highway it’s a good idea not to slow down until we have exited the highway and are safely in the exit ramp, so as to not hold up any traffic behind us.