I only have a driver’s permit. Anyone who’s been behind a wheel long enough knows that this means that I haven’t been driving for long. Common sense would dictate accepting that such an individual won’t have the skills of a more experienced driver and should be treated accordingly. I’ve found that–when it comes to my parents–this isn’t entirely true.

I got my permit in January and after some driving lessons started taking myself to work–provided that a legal driver was in the car with me. I’m waiting until June to take my driver’s license test in order to build up enough experience to actually be able to pass said test. My parents are aware of this and like to offer helpful advice. Well, what they think is helpful. Let’s just say that there are some things you should never tell an inexperienced driver.

Speed up. That’s probably the most common. I drive five miles under the speed limit for several reasons. I react more slowly to things than others, I don’t want to get a ticket, and I REALLY don’t want to have a wreck. These reasons make sense to me, but not to my parents. To them, if the sign says 45 MPH that’s how fast you should go. I’ve countered by pointing out that if the signs were meant to convey the minimum speed then they’d say as such, instead of saying SPEED LIMIT. Not to mention that it is unwise to tell someone inexperienced at anything to do it faster. That’s inviting disaster.

They also like to tell me when to pull out, whether I think I’m ready to or not. My parents each have over two decades of experience in the art of driving. This allows them to analyze traffic at a glance and–as a result–pull out in much tighter windows. Either they were driving prodigies as teenagers, or they’ve forgotten what it means to be inexperienced. As I’ve already mentioned, I react slowly to things and I certainly can’t take traffic in at a glance. I need to look both ways several times and wait for a large break in traffic to pull out. Considering that I’m the one driving, you’d think that they’d leave the decision up to me. When my parents get irritated at my hesitancy I say this; which would you prefer–that I wait five minutes until I know I can safely pull out, or pull out when you say and potentially have an accident? Just a thought.

I know that my parents simply want me to pass my test and get my driver’s license, worrying that some of these quirks will keep me from obtaining it. I’m not worried. If the person giving me the test on that fated day makes an issue of it I will suggest–none to subtly–that they stop giving unnecessary instructions to an inexperienced driver.

That is, unless they want a wreck.

3-driving-course

Disclaimer: I do not own the imagery used in this blog post and have no artistic claim to it.

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