A lifetime of learning
I spend a lot of time with my kids and I always enjoy that time. My 2 sons and I always have things to talk about. While we were in the car recently, we ended up talking about driving. That’s when I realized my kids have more knowledge about driving than some licensed adults; and my kids haven’t reached their teens yet!
While we were in a parking lot, we watched how a driver couldn’t get out of their parking space. It wasn’t a tight space. They had backed up straight instead of turning their wheels as they reversed. They needed to go back and forth to get out of the space. My oldest son, who is 12, gave advice as how the driver should have exited their space; and his advice was correct. My 9 year old said they should have reversed into the space to make leaving easier. Good advice from both of them. How many of you have taken advice from 9 and 12 year olds that worked?
We ended up discussing this further and I realized they have more driving skill. I’ve found out they look over 30 seconds up the road. They have often pointed out things that are well ahead of us. Good skill for a driver, don’t you think? How many of you look 30 seconds up the road as you drive? Most people look about 5 to 7 seconds ahead of them. This is one reason crashes occur; they don’t see the problem in time to respond to it. Lane changes are easier if you can learn to anticipate the traffic pattern up the road.
My 9 and 12 year old sons also can tell if another driver is slowing down; without seeing brake lights. I taught them that when they began to ride their bikes on the road. Now they can do it regularly. We teach all drivers that skill at Young Drivers of Canada. We call it ‘Ground Viewing’ and that’s the only way to tell if another driver is stopping at a red light or a stop sign.
My 12 year old also knows that you should never drive directly beside another driver. He said if that driver swerved suddenly they would hit us. Again, some sound advice from a 12 year old kid. I’m pleased my kids have paid attention to my driving and I’m pleased it makes sense to them. Too bad it doesn’t make sense to everyone.
I think my kids will be good drivers when they grow older. After all, they’ve spent their whole life learning how to do it properly!