Even after all these years…
I was recently contacted by a former student of mine. They were telling me how they’ve driven collision free and ticket free sine they received their license. The cool thing was they were my student at Young Drivers of Canada back in 1991! Over 20 years of safe driving is a feat all in itself, but knowing I had an influence on this, and probably with many other students, gives me a warm spot in my heart.
While chatting with this former student online she went on to let me know she has since received her motorcycle license and has traveled long trips while riding her bike. She has used the same techniques I taught her to drive a car to riding a motorcycle. Again; very cool. She even mentioned the specific Young Drivers of Canada driving techniques by name so it was easy to believe her commitment. So my question to each of you; how much do you still use from your original driver training?
I’ve spoken to may people over the years that will tell me that our training at Young Drivers of Canada is expensive. Maybe so, but it also has so much information for life skills. Isn’t driving a life skill? It’s not just a skill that gets you to work, home and vacation places, but it’s a skill that allows you to survive those trips each and every day. Driving is more than making right and left turns and lane changes. Why take training that teaches you the basics? I’m sure your family members could teach you the basics, but what about learning how to anticipate the actions of other road users? What about knowing what to do before it happens? Were you taught that?
My former student was and it stayed with her for all these years. I was extremely pleased she remembered most of that over these more than 20 years after her training. Was I picky enough as an instructor? Maybe I was…hopefully I was and according to her, I certainly was. How picky was your driving instructor? A driver’s license isn’t just about having that photo ID in your wallet. It’s about believing in your abilities and making the newly taught skills into a habit. It’s also about being open minded enough to make the necessary changes with your driving techniques to remain a safe driver.
I recently had another driving instructor ask me what to do to help a student of hers that doesn’t seem to care about the driving task and takes risks. It’s tough to do things you don’t believe in. I believe in the “sell it, not tell it” philosophy and hopefully this instructor can “sell” the idea of safe, responsibly driving to her student. Luckily for my student from 1991, she believes in it and it’s served her well over these years. So, all I can say now is…thank YOU for making my job very worthwhile.