The Five Most Interesting Things You Learn from Drivers Ed

Hey guys, I'm Connor. Next school year, I will be a junior at Westlake High School, where I play the Tuba in the marching band. My interests are computer gaming, piloting (I'm currently in pilot training), hiking, camping, and putting things together in general. I am frequently mistaken over internet voice chat as being over 20 ever since my voice dropped to Morgan Freeman levels. In that deep, trustworthy voice, I have a few things to say.

Drivers ed covered a lot of boring things, but a few stuck out as topics I was actually interested in.

1. Proper 4-Way Stop Queuing

This technique was very confusing at first, but after a small amount of practice, I feel more confident. It’s not the rules of the road that are confusing, the real problems at 4-ways are with the people.

The ancient art of intimidation comes into play here. Expect the rules to be thrown out the window. Once your bumper gets to the thick white line, you immediately are fighting for your right of passage through the no man’s land intersection.

If you hesitate for a moment longer than the next driver is willing to wait, they will happily quash your meager hopes of arriving to school on time and you’ll have to start the game over with three new contestants!

2. Emergency Handling

It’s good to know how to survive an emergency. When a tire blows out, you don’t want to be the guy who takes four other cars with him in his vain attempt to get to the right shoulder.

What to do if Your Car is Out of Control

I’m a bit of a gear-head, so I also like to know about the mechanical systems like ABS and power steering that affect and are affected by emergency situations.

Shockingly, if you don’t know how to handle yourself and your vehicle during an emergency, especially with passengers, suddenly no one will want to ride with you.

Better to know how to skirt disaster, than to have an uncomfortable first meeting with your date's parents soon after you call them from the steaming pile of aluminum that was once your car. On the plus side, emergency first-aid is a great ice-breaker!

3. How to Turn (like you have full control of your arms)

Passengers tend to get antsy when a steering wheel appears to be beyond your mechanical competence.

Learning the hand-over-hand method is probably your best bet at looking like less like an annoyingly inexperienced driver (even though that’s exactly what you are). It is also much easier and safer to turn without twisting your arms into a pretzel.

4. How to Not Piss Off Other Drivers

Seriously, you do not want to cut off the upperclassman who very well might be the section leader (marching band) who counts your push-ups. They may make a few “arithmetical errors”.

Like it or not, you will become well known among your peers for your driving habits, for better or for worse. To not become “that guy”, you need to follow the law and road courtesies.

Even outside of your community, other drivers can get just as pissed off, and would have to resort to “offensive driving” (as my PreCal teacher puts it) to get retribution. That devolves into more irresponsible driving, more accidents, and more having a bad time.

5. How to Get My Permit ASAP!

The sooner I could get behind the wheel, the better. I did everything in my power to complete the course quickly (and being able to do Aceable on my iPhone seriously came in handy). Being somewhat of a slacker, I thought I would try to breeze through the theory without a whole lot of effort. I don’t recommend this strategy. Instead, keep your eyes on the goal and power through -- even if it seems boring. I’m just glad I only have to do this once.

What did you find interesting about drivers ed? Anything? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

If you're getting on this Aceable game (and I recommend you do), go to this link and use the code Connor10 to save yourself $10 bills or the equivalent of one Starbucks drink. Sorry you can't pay in Bitcoin. I really am.

Krista Doyle
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