Have you ever thought about how many bad drivers there are out there? I mean, you take some drivers ed classes when you’re 16 or 17 with the goal being the ability to navigate roads, understand basic driving rules and surviving the first couple of years behind the wheel. But let’s fast-forward to ten years later and while most have learned to handle themselves behind the wheel from a survival basis, there are still a LOT of awful driving habits out there.
So as someone who used to ride a motorcycle and also drives a manual for my cars, I’ve got several goals when I get behind the wheel: Get from point A to B as quickly and safely as possible, minimize hard acceleration and braking, drive smoothly through the turns. Overall it’s mostly about saving gas and wear and tear on your vehicle, driving in a predictable fashion and flowing with traffic. Really basic rules for any experienced driver.
But I see so many incorrect habits on the road. One is tapping on the brakes or riding your brakes. There are inexperienced drivers who drive with two feet on the pedals and they inadvertently have the brake pedal pushed down, slightly. What’s that mean? People behind you react and/or don’t know when you’re truly braking. Plus you’re wasting gas and brake pad. Tapping the brakes and over-reacting to what’s in front of you is also the same deal. I hate driving behind these people and get around as quickly as possible.
Left-lane hogs. Yeah, people drive over the speed limit but it’s not your job to enforce the speed limit. The left-lane is for passing so if you’ve got cars behind you, speed up and pass or just pull over a lane to the right. If you don’t do this, cars will pass you on your right-hand side causing more issues. Just don’t sit in the left-hand land unconscious, let faster traffic pass you on the left. You can get the same issue in the middle lane creating a rolling road block but it’s less of an issue.
Merging onto highways. Have you ever seen some poor senior citizen at a total stop trying to get on the highway? Ouch, way to make it much harder for yourself and your slowing reflexes. You need to keep up your speed to merge properly and you need to adjust to the highway traffic and find your spot. Don’t merge on without taking a look to the left and seeing the lane traffic. And if it’s really dense, zipper the lanes. That means you signal, open up enough space between you and the car in front of you and merge the lanes safely and fairly. Both lanes of traffic need to follow this basic rule to maximize safety and speed for everyone, basic stuff.
In the end, we drive something like 2.9 trillion miles on the road in this country every year. If we drove more efficiently and effectively, we might be able to not only save lives but also save a lot of gas. I mean, who really wants to be stuck in traffic behind a shitty highway accident? Or wants to get to work frustrated over a bad driver in front of you? So I’m thinking it would be great if every 5 – 10 years, we went back to DMV for Adult Driving tips. Not only would we be more alert and better drivers, it would allow DMV to pull the licenses of those whose skills had deteriorated badly. It would also mean state income and funding for other DMV and highway projects for the area. I really think it just makes too much sense given technological advances today. Imagine jumping into a Driver’s Ed simulator that would score your driving effectiveness, not just following basic rules.
Well there’s my crazy idea for the day, Driver’s Ed for Adults! Whaddya think, does it make sense?