Now that I’ve hit 15, and my drivers education is underway, I’m super excited about getting behind the wheel. As someone whose driving experience is limited to bikes, scooters, and golf carts, the transition to a 7-passenger SUV is an intimidating hardware upgrade, and I’m not sure what to expect. I have several concerns (well, more like fears) that I'll openly admit.
Hittin' the freeway
Before I started drivers ed, hopping on the high-speed, multi-lane monster was a non-event. For years, I’ve passively sat watching my parents accelerating and decelerating though merges, handling lane changes and exits with ease acquired only through years of experience. However, in recent months, knowing I’ll be in the driver’s seat soon, I’ve started paying attention. And boy let me tell you, I'm terrified of hittin’ the freeway, literally and figuratively.
Resisting the call of my phone
Like every teenager, I'm (extremely) fond of my phone and keep it close (in fact, most of this post is written on my beloved iPhone 5). And while safety messages about texting while driving have instilled in me a healthy respect to the dangers of doing so, I wonder how strong the temptation to check my phone (and my resolve to resist it) will be.
Navigating parking lots
I’ve always been wary of parking lots. With so many cars, people, shopping carts (and worrisome of all the knee-high crowd) mingling in the same compact space, avoiding collision is too often not front of mind. Everyone’s wrapped up in their to-do list, not paying attention to their surroundings. To make it worse, the rules of the road are least clear in parking lots and safe driving too often relies on knowing established but unspoken rules. (Luckily, Aceable has come in handy teaching me some of those small but necessary tidbits of knowledge.) I remember many occasions as a child, walking behind a car only to find the driver couldn't see me and I'd have to dash to avoid being squashed! Now I’m worried about being the one behind the wheel, unable to see knee-high pedestrians who walk confidently (employing the magical thinking of a child) behind cars and dash unexpectedly in front of them.
Beyond the apprehension
Lest I’ve given the wrong impression, I’m mostly excited about driving. I’m eager for the independence and freedom it confers. In not too long, I’ll be able to get myself around town, to and from school on my time, and drive myself to meet up with friends on occasions when my parents are unavailable. Soon I’ll see how my fears and expectations compare to the real deal! I'll keep you posted and let you know how I'm progressing. I'd love to hear what intimidates and excites you about joining the safe drivers club. !