I learned to drive when I was a kid
I’ve learned a lot of things when I was a kid. My parents did a good job in teaching me life lessons. I use my manners and try to think of the consequences of my actions before I do them. Yes, I’ve done some things in my life that I’ve regretted, but I did learn a lesson from them. Since I’ve now driven for almost 30 years now, I’ve realized that I’ve learned many things when I was a kid, that have helped me as a driver. Maybe you can say the same thing.
I learned to look both ways before crossing the street when I was a kid. That’s helped me realize that I also need to do that as a driver. How many times have you seen drivers run a red light? Many people think the green light means “GO”, but in reality it means “go when safe”. It’s just like the pedestrian walk signal. Before crossing the street as a pedestrian we tend to look for traffic. We do that because we know drivers may run the light and walking would be dangerous. Doesn’t it make sense to do the same things as a driver? Why trust the light to tell you if it’s clear?
Another thing I learned as a kid that has helped me as a driver was knowing what’s behind me when riding my bike. I was always looking over my shoulder while riding on the busy roads so I knew when a driver was gaining on me. Don’t you think that knowing what the traffic’s like behind is a good driver skill? There would be no surprises if you had to stop or change position on the road. Too many drivers check their mirrors too late. Checking them every 5 to 8 seconds will always keep you up to date with changing traffic patterns.
When I did ride my bike as a kid, I used to look just in front of my tire. I was used to looking just in front of my feet while walking, so looking in front of my bike made sense at the time. This changed the moment I rode my bike into a parked vehicle. Yup, I hit the bumper dead on and flew up the back window and onto the roof of the car. Since riding my bike was faster than walking, so I quickly learned that I needed to look further ahead. Since driving a vehicle is faster than riding a bike, I also learned that I need to look much further up the road, but how far? Try to look to where you’ll be in roughly 12 seconds while driving along at city speeds; 20 seconds at highway/freeway speeds. This will give you time to see, think and respond to any problems up the road; like parked vehicles.
The final thing I learned as a kid that has helped me become a safe driver was that I tended to act differently when I was with a group of friends. If I was by myself, or with one friend, I acted pretty normal and responsible. Once I had a few more friends around me, I acted goofy. The same can be said when I first learned to drive. I would act silly when I had 3 or 4 friends in the car and this feeling stayed with me until I was in my mid twenties. Because I knew how it would make me feel, I tried not to drive too many people around at the same time. I knew they would change my attitude, which would put me at risk. I tried to drive either by myself, or just with one other passenger. I knew the risks of crashing were greater when I was with my friends. Wait a minute; did this mean I was maturing as a driver?
So, whoever said you never learn much as kid probably wasn’t really a kid. Being a kid taught me to drive a car safely. What did you learn?