Devin is beginning the process of getting his learner’s permit for his driver’s license. He has to learn the rules of the road online in order to prepare to take the written test.
When I was in high school, Driver’s Ed was a course that all sophomores had to take. My teacher, Mr. Price, was also my driving instructor. He would take a car full of sophomores all around the town and have us take turns at the wheel. He also made us pull over every 20 minutes so he could get out of the state-owned car and smoke a cigarette. I guess I should be grateful. The other teacher, Mr. Tengen, had his larynx removed and spoke through a box on his throat…
But I digress.
I am confident that Devin will pass the written test with flying colors. I am also sure that he will pass the driving portion. I, of course, have every parent’s worry about whether or not he will be a defensive driver. Will he anticipate that the drivers around him will do something unexpected and stupid in the blink of an eye? Will he scan an intersection as he approaches it, in case someone is running a red or even a yellow light? Will he have the safety mind-set of a school bus driver, but the reaction time of a stunt car driver….?
But then I also worry…. will he have good manners? I am not talking please and thank you, or say “Nice to meet you, too” when appropriate. I am talking about good manners while driving. They don’t teach these at the DMV, but I think they’re incredibly important. They should come from experience, yet I see people of all ages doing these irritating things.
I present my Driver Bitch List:
Pay attention to how much space is between you and the car in front of you. If you’re in the left turn lane the person behind you has their rear end hanging over into the next lane and blocking traffic there… see if you can scoot up a bit and let them into the lane. These people who have an entire car length between them and the next car just make me crazy!
Don’t take your half out of the middle.
Are you in the right lane at an intersection? Well then can you please stay to the left so that people can make right turns in the lanes that are wide enough for them to do so? Wake up and be more aware of cars around you!
Do not stop your car in the crosswalk.
It is the first line you come to, not the second one, that determines where you should stop. I’m pretty sure this is a law, but people often don’t pay attention to it. Guess what? If a pedestrian has to walk around your vehicle in a crosswalk, you did not stop where you were supposed to.
Use your turn signals.
Yes, I know that this is a law too, but not many people seem to do it. Also? I think you should signal before you hit your brakes. Don’t put on your brakes, then drive half a block, then signal that you’re turning. I know something’s up… after all, you’ve hit your brakes… Is the car in front of you stopping? Is there a dog in the street? Are you lost? Are you having car trouble? Oh. You’re just turning? Why didn’t you say so?
Here are a few more, in no particular order:
- Blaring your music so loudly that I can’t hear the music in my own car… even with my windows up.
- Those porno stickers of 2 naked girls squatting, one with a halo, the other with a devil-tail.
- Honor Roll bumper stickers.
- Too many bumper stickers. (I’m talkin’ to you, Mom!)
- Those bumper stickers with little boys peeing on things they don’t like. (I’m still talkin’ to you, Mom!)
I am optimistic that Devin will be a good driver. At the same time, I am also OK if he doesn’t drive until he’s 30. We’ll see what happens….