What I learned in drivers ed could apply today

By Cassandra Walker

Has anyone else noticed the lack of driver respect going on these days? I mean, is it too much to ask for a blinker to come on before a turn is made? Am I going too far to request that a signal be given if you intend on turning in front of me? Has it become politically incorrect to allow the person waiting for the parking spot to have it, instead of someone zooming in before you do?

I have come to find out that motorists today seem to be less and less concerned about their fellow drivers. We learned the basics of driving etiquette and control in high-school drivers education. What I didn’t learn there, my parents and brother were sure to fill in the gaps.

My brother was the first to test drive with me when I received my learners permit. I think he lost – in the pick the longest straw contest – so he was stuck taking me around the block.

I have nothing against older siblings teaching their younger counterparts to drive, but my brother was crazy.

He would yell at me at the top of his lungs, “STOP!”

He would call me stupid and say, “you should never be allowed to drive.”

He would hang out of the car window and try to get the attention of a girl walking down the street.

One time, he became so upset with me that he made me get out and walk home – in the rain!

My parents put him on punishment. The next licensed driver assigned to me? My mother.

Now, my mother was not as rude as my brother, but she was just as afraid of my driving.

I first noticed her anticipation when she strapped herself in the back seat and motioned for me to start the car. She told me it was safer for her to be behind me instead of beside me. Then she commented, “But I know you are a good driver.”

So much for the vote of confidence.

After a few days, my visibly nervous mother gave the keys to my father, who then took over my lessons. I am not trying to imply that my dad can sometimes take things over the top but, well, he brought a whistle with him.

He would blow the whistle … right before I was to turn or stop.

TWEET. “Stop coming up.”

TWEET. “Slow down for that pedestrian.”

TWEET. “Look out, approaching left turn in 100 yards.”

OK, he was over the top.

When we finished my driving lessons, I kept hearing whistle sounds in my head for three days.

I was thankful when it was time to take the big test. I passed with flying colors, and have been a pretty good driver ever since.

There were times that I didn’t like the tactics my family took while directing me into the path of becoming a legal driver.

However, with the exception of my brother, the end results were positive. Which makes me wonder if any of the drivers in question could use some help?

I think my dad still has his whistle.

Be safe on those highways – the holiday season is upon us and today the kids will be trick or treating. Let’s all try to be considerate of others.

Thanks for sharing.

Cassandraism: One man’s caution could save another man’s life.