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October 29, 2013

Driver's Education

It's really hard to identify everything that a child needs to learn to drive a motor-vehicle alone down the highway. Like, I've been driving for 30 years, so you pick up a lot of do's and don'ts along the way, consciously, and otherwise. I could never have imagined how hard it is to teach someone how to drive just because of the number of unique situations that occur on a daily basis:

On a 4-lane road, if you're not passing, you should be in the right-hand lane. If people are passing you on the left, you're an idiot.
When you back out of a driveway, parking space, etc., make sure that you back into your lane. Women routinely back into the oncoming line, then force everyone to stop, while they pull forward into their correct lane. This is unacceptable.
When you park on a hill, use your parking brake. If there is a curb, turn your wheels into the curb.
When you're going down a long, steep hill in the mountains, don't burn up your brakes. Downshift into a lower gear.
Watch for the marbles in the turns. Every turn has them. No one knows why.
If you have an acceleration lane, use it. Do not stop if you have an acceleration lane. Floor it, and find a spot to get over before the end of the acceleration lane.
If someone is merging onto a 4 lane road and you are blocking their entrance, check to see if you can move over. If you can safely change lanes, then do so and allow them to merge.
Do not come to a complete stop for stop signs. This is something the driver's ed instructor teaches you. A California stop is much safer, and saves gas.
Follow the 2 second rule. Do not get closer than 2 seconds behind the car in front of you.
If someone is following you too closely, do a brake check to get them off your ass. You are in grave danger if someone is following you too closely.
Do not swerve for anything smaller than an elk. Changing lanes to avoid a dog and hitting a minivan full of six people head-one is a bad idea. If you can't stop in time, and the oncoming lane isn't clear, stay in your lane and kill the dog.
If you're coming up to a stop sign, a red light, or a sharp turn, get your foot off the gas. The sooner the better. Save your brakes.
Anticipate what is going to happen. Watch far ahead of where you are driving.
Read street signs.
Use your turn signal. It's there for a reason.
Dim your lights when you see a car approaching.
Watch for signs of other cars. When you see the headlights of other cars approaching, dim your lights as soon as practicable. You don't need to blind them first.
Use your horn. It's there for a reason. If the guy beside you starts to come into your lane, honk at him to let him know.
For now, the cell phone and the radio are too much of a distraction. Maybe one day, you'll be a good enough driver to drive with the radio on. You're not there yet.
Know how to change a tire.
Know where your jack and spare are located.
Read your owner's manual. Figure out what all of the things on the dashboard do. Jen didn't know what a "Tachometer" was. No shame in it. She knows now.
Keep emergency tools in your vehicle. Flashlight. Spare fuses. Fuse puller. Fuse tester. Cell phone. Cell phone charger.
Learn how to change your oil. Learn how to check all of your fluid levels. Anti-Freeze, Windshield Washer fluid, oil, etc.
It's OK to call 911. If you see a person broken down, or in an accident, go ahead and call 911. It's good to practice, so you'll know what to expect in a more serious emergency.
In the winter, you should have emergency cold weather gear. Jacket. Gloves. Boots. Hat. Candy/MRE's.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 29, 2013 at 3:23 PM


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