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When I was a junior in high school in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, I took Driver’s Ed. I was in no rush to get my driver’s license in Massachusetts where the weather was horrendous during the winter months (and I had been in 2 accidents as a passenger), but this seemed like an easy class to take and it allowed me the time to think about much more important things: Boys, and Cheerleading!

When I moved to Arizona the summer before my senior year, I changed my mind about getting my license. No snow or ice in Arizona – so I was ready to experience the freedom that most teenagers crave!

Sadly, without a passing grade of a “B” or better, my parents would not get the “credit” needed to reduce the cost of their car insurance, so I reluctantly called my driver’s ed teacher at my old school and asked if he could mail to me my grade. I knew there was more than a good possibility that I did not “pass” this class (for the reasons mentioned above), but I had to at least try. Each day I would stop at the post office and check the box for his letter, and when it arrived, all I could do is smile! (See attached letter) With a little padding of my grade, thanks to Mr. Bradley, I got my driver’s license! Immediately, I understood that there were serious responsibilities involved.

Recently, I relocated which caused my commute to and from work to be 175 miles per day. I drive the freeways in Arizona and virtually every day I see at least two accidents and think to myself “how on earth did that happen!?” I see people rushing to get to their destinations with literally no concern for themselves or the other drivers. Seems to me, the goal is to get to work, or home – – ALIVE? Am I wrong?

Like myself, these people probably take the same route every day and therefore know where they are going, when they need to exit, etc., and yet every day I see more and more stupidity, and more and more accidents.

I go over in my head all of the things that I wish I could scream out my window to these careless drivers. Since that would be futile, I thought I would put together my Top 10 list of what I feel every driver should practice each and every time they get behind the wheel:

1. Leave early to get to your destination (no explanation needed);

2. Plan your route (if you know your exit is 2 miles ahead, move over now so that you are not causing everyone to have to slam on their brakes to let you over);

3. Obey the speed limit (refer to #1);

4. Do not drive while tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol (duh!);

5. Put your danged phones away while you are driving!!(double duh!);

6. Adjust your speed for inclement weather (The roads are slick people!!)

7. Expect the unexpected (blowouts, animals darting in the road, etc.)

8. Drive courteously (let people in, and if people let YOU in – ACKNOWLEDGE IT with a little wave!)

9. Stay out of the carpool lane unless you qualify! (GRRRRR, this infuriates me!);

And . . . . WAIT FOR IT! . . . . .

10. Leave two car lengths worth of space between you and the car ahead of you (refer to #1, 7, & 8).

I’m proud to say that in the 40 plus years that I have been driving, I have not ONCE received a speeding ticket (I did receive a Jay-Walking ticket, but that’s a whole other story); and I’ve never been in a car accident while driving! Clearly, Mr. Bradley did a great job as a teacher! I must have been listening after all!

Yours Truly,

Patty – – a Driver’s Ed Flunky!

NOTE: Obviously, there are many more tips that are also very critical to safe driving, i.e., keep two hands on the wheel at all times, use your turn signals always, maintain your equipment, etc., but above are just “my Top 10”. Best to consider using them all in order to keep you and everyone else onthe roadways safe!

3 Responses to Driver Safety Tips: From A Driver’s Ed Flunky

  • Oh, my goodness! What a delightful story!!!
    My husband and I grew up in the Boston area. I grew up on the South Shore and he was from the North Shore. In all our years of driving there,we thought we had seen it all with the worst drivers on earth, not so!

    Your list of driving tips is perfect, but the people in Arizona add another level of crazy drivers. If you watch while driving, you will notice how many white knuckle drivers we have. I’m not sure if it’s their age, or where they are transplated from. Any little change results in them jerking the wheel and I believe that is why we see so many rollover accidents. Relax people, but be aware of Your surroundings. We might have less problems in the highway.

  • Thank you for your tips about driver safety .If everyone behave as like you,accident will reduce.

  • Defensive driver education is a part of professional driving education.It saves our life and wealth.
    Thanks for sharing.

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