How much do you remember?
I recently received a phone call and e-mail from a former student of mine. I was thrilled that Tracey remembered me after 16 years. She called to say thanks for her driver training. Wasn’t that nice of her?
Tracey was recently taking a course to get her “A” license to drive a large truck and her instructor had commented on her driving ability. She said she originally had a good instructor. There’s a good plug for me, huh? Anyway, she called the local Young Drivers office to see if I was still working with them. It’s good to hear from former students, especially students who are still using techniques they were taught.
Throughout our conversation she was telling me of all the driving techniques that she still uses and I was impressed she remembered them, especially to call them by name. Tracey told me she has avoided many crashes because of her training. How cool was that? This had me thinking. How many drivers still use the skills they were taught? I mean really use them. As drivers, we tend to believe that we’re all good drivers. But how many of us out there really remember these skills?
I was speaking with someone the other day that told me these columns have him thinking about his driving. That works for me! That’s what I was hoping for when I started to write them. The confidence each driver gains while driving is wonderful, but is there a chance we begin to build bad driving habits? As drivers, we need to be reminded of what to do. Sometimes we don’t even realize what bad driving habits we’re using, that’s until someone brings it to our attention.
I’ve met some former students of mine over the years and it does please me to hear they are staying out of collisions. My brother’s a former student of mine and when I’m in the car with him, it’s nice to see he’s still using some YD skills from time to time. Think of the pressure he’s under with, not only his brother in the car, but his former driving instructor as well!
The best story about believing in what you are taught comes from a former student I had in Burlington Ontario. I called up Dave because I needed a driver, who knew the YD driving system, to drive for me while I tested an evaluation system. It was two years since he graduated from our program, but he agreed to do it. His driving was just as good then as it was when he left our program.
I brought this up to two new instructors I was training and they were a bit skeptical. Ironically, Dave walked into the coffee shop where we were having our break. When I asked Dave why he still drives the way I taught him, he gave me a funny look and said, “Why change something that works.” Good answer, and thanks for remembering!