How to Survive Your Parents Teaching You How to Drive

Hey Acelets! My name is Maddie and I'm a sophmore at Westlake High School. I enjoy sitting in my hammock, playing the marimba, and taking drivers ed courses (ammiright ladies?!). Now please allow me to share with you a couple things I'm sure of... I'm wrapping up my sophomore year in high school so as much as I would like to think I am, by no means am I an expert on anything with regards to driving. Although, I have picked up a few tips and tricks on dealing with parents along my journey of completing drivers education and getting my license.

Tip #1: Parents are rule-breakers too

When I began drivers ed I started to notice the subtle rules of the road that experienced drivers seem to forget about. Turn signals, checking the blind spot, and going a slight bit over the speed limit are all things that seem to be unimportant when parents are driving. But if a teenager learning to drive were to forget one of those steps, all hell would break loose. Now that I’ve taken drivers ed it’s fun to call my parents out on all the rules they forget and I know not to completely learn by example (sorry mom). Even though a lot of the time parents are right, I would say be prepared for some hypocritical comments from mom and dad.Tip #2: Get ready for some high adrenaline situations

One thing I wish I was more prepared for concerning parent taught driving are the moments where things get out of control. There have definitely been times (probably more frequently then there should be) that we have come to near-collision situations when I was in the drivers seat. These moments when the car is literally a few millimeters away from an accident lead to the glorious bonding experience of listening to a parent scream as you barely escape the situation. After this happened a few times, I’ve learned to enjoy these moments. Sometimes it’s fun to freak out your parents by almost destroying a car that’s worth thousands of dollars! *Disclaimer: I do not encourage purposeful crashing of cars*Tip #3: Stay cool

One of the most important rules I’ve learned for surviving drivers ed with parents is that staying calm is a must. When it comes to maneuvering a huge machine, being relaxed but still alert has worked out best. When I was first put in the drivers seat, I was very apprehensive about the exact amount of pressure I put on the gas pedal and the precise degree to which I turned the wheel, but I realized that these things come with ease and the best way to be ready for unexpected incidents is to stay calm, cool, and collected. Choosing to stay relaxed not only helps one's own driving skills but it also reflects on parents and makes the whole car ride more peaceful for everyone.Tip #4: Learn to laugh with your parents about the silly mistakes

The final survival tip I would send off to those beginning to drive with their parents is to be prepared for the stories that will come up in conversation about the silly mistakes that are made while driving. One of the most memorable stories is the time I accidentally stopped in the middle of a highway while trying to pull into a fast food restaurant! I don’t really know how anyone could accidentally do that, but I managed to. This story is told at every family gathering to this date. What I’ve learned is to laugh at myself because everyone makes mistakes when they begin driving and some of these mess-ups are actually pretty hilarious and make the whole drivers-ed experience that more memorable.Even though spending 44 hours in a car with family sounds terrifying and dreadful, I think parent taught drivers ed is an extremely rewarding experience and is well worth all the sassy comments from mom about forgetting a turn signal. Hopefully this survival guide will give you a little head start so we'll all be groovin’ when we hit the roads.

Krista Doyle
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