CJ passed the written part of the driving exam on Friday and started driving with me this weekend. He’s a natural, I think. Or maybe the human-machine interface of an automobile is by now so fully perfected that everyone’s a natural? But you’d think that would be true of a bicycle, too, a vehicle he was not, I can tell you, a natural at operating.
Anyway: he really doesn’t find it hard. After maybe four hours in the car he can already navigate the small streets of our neighborhood without doing anything that makes my knuckles or bladder clench. As for me, I’m reflecting on how hard it is to explain how to do something you yourself know very deeply how to do, and have known very deeply how to do for a long time. There’s a lesson here for math teaching.
The skill that seems most challenging is turning. I wouldn’t have expected this. To execute a turn not too broadly and not too sharply, leaving you parallel to the curb at the same time you’re exactly where you want to be in the lane, seems not to be as intuitive as everything else. Maybe there’s still room for improvement in the human-machine interface!
Anyway, it’s fun. It’s always fun to watch your kids get better at things.
Turning is the thing I find most difficult when driving in England. It takes a while to adjust to the different perspective of driving while sitting on the right-hand side of the car, and even takes a (shorter) while to readjust when returning home. This suggests that one uses lots of visual cues that have to be learned.
I’m surprised you haven’t noted that turning left (in the US) is actually easier than turning right, because the driver has slightly more time and distance to adjust to being in the middle of the lane parallel to the curb.