4 Ways On How To Improve Driving Navigation Skills
Not all people have strong navigational skills. In fact, it is safe to say that only a few individuals out there have an inherent instinct toward finding the correct direction.
For most of us, we rely on the roads and courses that we are familiar with. This means that we are inclined to go on the same route from time to time so that we don’t get lost at all.
Fortunately, navigation skills can be developed. Even if you are not born to have such a talent, you can still refine it. If you are a driver, you might want to improve this particular asset. It will help you from time to time.
Here are some ways on how you can do that.
How To Improve Driving Navigation Skills
Always Look At The Map
There’s always an advantage if you utilize maps. For some people, doing this is a waste because there are GPS devices that can automatically show them the way. However, these modern systems are not reliable all the time. Traditional maps are still useful, especially in getting familiar with various landmarks and destinations.
Of course, you don’t really need the conventional maps here. Your computer or smartphone can access Google Maps. The latter is well-updated, which makes it an extremely useful utility.
Always check the map and browse the location you are in. Spend time studying it. Try to locate areas like seashores, lakes, rivers, harbors, and parks. Familiarize them and the destinations that are near them. You should also need to identify the major routes and highways. Get to know the famous landmarks, too.
If you can do this, it is easier for you to deduce your current location even without the help of a GPS. There’s a lot of guessing involved here. But in doing this, your navigation skills are being refined.
Take Your Time To Walk Around
It would really be helpful if you can leave your car for a bit and start strolling. Even if you are not a stranger to your current location, it still pays if you can explore it with your feet! That helps you get more familiarity with various landmarks and iconic sites.
By walking, you can also discover less known routes that you can use to cut your driving time short. These are the best paths if there are traffic congestions or detours that you need to avoid.
People who walk a lot have developed navigational skills. They know where to go and how to reach various destinations without getting lost. Of course, walking should be directional and purposeful. It should not be aimless. After all, your goal here is to explore and familiarize as many locations as possible.
Memorize Some Landmarks
The importance of landmarks is often ignored by many. But if you are street-smart, you know that they are not just there for a reason. These landmarks serve as locational orientation. Specifically, you can use them as a point of reference so that you can know where you are and the places that you need to go.
Take a single landmark and memorize its placement and layout. Parks, for instance, can give you an idea of what’s around you. “Oh, this is the park. Then the city library must be just over that street.” Most of you can relate to this method of finding a particular location. It is simple, but it is effective all the time. Plus, it improves your navigational skills, too.
Always Have A Mental Map
As humans, we have a way of developing physical maps on our heads. This is not difficult to achieve. Even a child can form a mental map of schools or playgrounds.
Once you have a good familiarity with a particular place, you should already be able to visualize it. To make things easier for you, you can look at the map for a while then start walking. Doing this will incorporate the things that you have seen on the map and reflect it to your real-world experiences. It would be a way of double-checking if you got things correctly.
Furthermore, the more you walk, the more information you can add to your mental map. That’s one refine way of sharpening your skills in navigating.