I’ve spent a lot of time in the car recently and have to say that earlier today I found myself annoyed with a driver who didn’t seem to grasp how the process of merging into moving traffic on the Interstate works. I remembered that although it seems a natural reflex, I learned all of that in drivers’ education classes I took when I was 15.
Although I had friends who took classes over the summer, I got to take the class during the school year. And although some of the times I remember most are of the fun times like learning to use a drive thru (important skill when you are hungry) or practicing parking in the Baskin-Robbins parking lot…. it have to admit that other lessons have stayed with me a lot longer.
Some of the most practical elements that have really stuck with me (in no particular order) include:
- Merging — Since I mentioned this already…. The ramps on interstates/freeways are to be used to gain or decrease speed so you can smoothly move into traffic. Expecting cars going 70 miles per hour to come to a halt to let you in when you are going half that speed is ludicrous.
- Parallel Parking — Not sure why I did so well in parallel parking but that was my drivers ed jam. Really served me well during the New York years but I find myself using this skill set more often than I ever would have thought when they were trying to teach us.
- Defensive Driving — Everyone can have a lapse in judgment, and understanding that so I’m prepared for other drivers doing less than smart things has saved me dozens of accidents, especially at traffic signals! Amazing how often someone
- Safe Driving Distance — One of the things that serves me best in traffic is knowing to leave enough space between me and the cars I am behind and widening that gap when weather is an issue. Far too often in traffic you have to slam on your brakes and having the space needed makes a difference.
- Navigating New Places — With the amount of travel I do, I can’t tell you how often I remind myself about odd numbered US highways run north-south, while even run east-west (granted there are occasional shifts in roads not those directions).
Granted, I like everyone else have had lapses in judgment, but I think the foundation has served me well. And I am sure some of the classes now add lessons that will be helpful as I continue to work on limiting distractions.
Oh and if you wonder how I did in the course…. I was an A student knowing I needed the price cut on my insurance! I also competed in the district’s driver’s ed competition representing my school. And yeah, I rocked the parallel parking but someone made a better score going through the obstacle cones.
Month of Memories
I didn’t get as many posts written as I had intended during the month of November but I sure enjoyed all the walks down memory lane both that I shared here and that I just enjoyed personally. May have to continue to write some down but I am pretty excited about sharing some of the other things that have been going on!